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Old 15th October 2013, 12:22 AM
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Default (OCT-2013) Animated Era Toys - Reviews and Favourites

Following a short-lived filler toyline called Classics (which ultimately spawned a number of toylines of "classicverse" toys) and the first of several Live Action Movies, the Animated series launched with a cartoon at the end of 2007, but we didn't see any toys until mid 2008. Lasting 3 seasons and barely a year on TV and in stores, the cartoon and toyline came to a rather abrupt end in the second quarter of 2009, due to Hasbro starting up their HUB cable TV channel and wanting new cartoons of their main brands to spearhead its launch later that year.
The axing was so abrupt, that an official DVD release of the 3rd season is still yet to occur, because at the time, all marketing and merchandise was directed at the next series.

Animated started off fairly ordinary as a cartoon and toy series, to the point of being significantly dismissed by the fandom as being too young with its visual style and themes... but by the end of 2008, characters on the cartoon and in the toyline were more often being made as homages to classic characters, which helped draw in many existing fans. The short-lived series generated a significant following by the time it ended, with interest to this day for a fourth season (even if it is just a comic), and for the unreleased toys (including some prototype designs of Megatron and Optimus).
Animated's toy release in Australia was sporadic, which was a significant change from the almost-complete release of the preceding line of Cybertron here. Several figures we didn't end up getting here, while some others (particularly Voyagers) were so limited, they disappeared within a week of being first sighted.
In Japan, the series was released in 2010 (after it had ended in Western markets) under the banner of "Transformers Animated", which is rare for the same name to be used on both American/Western and Japanese versions of a series. The significant difference was TakaraTomy were giving their Animated toys shiny decos, compared to Hasbro's more accurate animated colours... which is a reversal of what we are used to, as TakaraTomy are usually the ones to "fix up" or refine toy decos to make them more cartoon accurate. One bonus of the Japanese series being a delayed release and not affected by the HUB's creation ending the toyline, was that they were able to release a number of figures in Japan that were axed by Hasbro.

Details of the Animated era can be read about here.

The toyline didn't have a series-wide gimmick like the preceding eras did, but it did contain a number of gimmicks for different size-classes.
We saw Bumper Battlers that "transformed" when they hit something in vehicle mode, Activators that had spring-loaded transformations to robot mode, Powerbots that were non-convertible but were electronic, and Supreme class which had a "spin to transform" gimmick.

(toy listing below may not be entirely complete, especially their release status here, as the second half is still a work in progress)
Release dates are American - the Australian dates will be added later.

Animated - larger sizes

Deluxe
- - Wave 1 (June 2008)
Bumblebee - Out here
Prowl - Out here
Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime - Out here
Lockdown - Out here
- - Wave 2 (June-July 2008)
Autobot Ratchet - Out here
Blackarachnia - Out here
- - Wave 3 (July 2008)
Autobot Jazz - Out here (limited release)
Snarl - Out here (limited release)
Soundwave w/ Laserbeak - Out here (limited release)
Oilslick - Out here (limited release)
- - Wave 4 (Aug-Sept 2008)
Sentinel Prime - Out here (limited release)
Swoop - Out here (limited release)
Patrol Bumblebee (redeco) - Out here (limited release)
- - Wave 5 (Dec 2008-Jan 2009)
Blurr
Blazing Lockdown (redeco/new accessory)
Swindle
- - Wave 6 (Feb-Mar 2009)
Samurai Prowl (Deluxe remould w/ Sidecar/armour)
Waspinator
- - Wave 7 (April-May 2009)
Freeway Jazz (redco)
Electrostatic Soundwave (redeco) w/ Ratbat (new)
- - Wave 8 & 9 (mid-late 2009)
Toxic Oil Slick (redeco) - CANCELLED
Fugitive Wasp/Waspinator (redeco) - CANCELLED
Vortex Blurr (redeco) - CANCELLED
Mercenary Swindle (redeco) - CANCELLED
Arcee (new) - CANCELLED (later released at US TRU in 2010)
Cybertronian Ratchet (new) - CANCELLED (later released at US TRU in 2010)
Rodimus Minor (new) - CANCELLED (later released at US TRU in 2010)
Ironhide (redeco) - CANCELLED (later released at US TRU in 2010)

Voyager
- - Wave 1 (June 2008)
Bulkhead - Out here
Starscream - Out here
Cybertron Mode Megatron - Out here
- - Wave 2 (June-July 2008)
Optimus Prime - Out here
- - Wave 3 (July 2008)
Grimlock - Out here (limited release)
Lugnut - Out here (limited release)
- - Wave 4 (Aug-Sept 2008)
Blitzwing - Out here (limited release)
- - Wave 5 (Dec 2008-Jan 2009)
Skywarp (redeco)
Shockwave/Longarm
- - Wave 6 (Feb-Mar 2009)
Atomic Lugnut (redeco)
Wreckgar
- - Wave 7 (April-May 2009)
Thundercracker (redeco) - CANCELLED
Mudbuster Bulkhead (redeco) - CANCELLED
- - Wave 8 (June-July 2009)
Goldfire Grimlock (redeco) - CANCELLED
Hydrodrive Bumblebee (new) - CANCELLED (release in Japan)
Wingblade Optimus Prime (redeco with accessories) - CANCELLED (release in Japan)
Blackout (new) - CANCELLED (release in Japan)


Leader
- - Wave 1 (June 2008)
Bulkhead - Out here
- - Wave 2 (July 2008)
Megatron - Out here
- - Wave 3 (Aug-Sept 2008)
Ultra Magnus (Leader) - Out here (limited release)
- - Wave 4 (Dec 2008-Jan 2009)
Shadow Blade Megatron (redeco)
- - Wave 5 (Feb-Apr 2009)
Roadbuster Ultra Magnus (redeco)


Supreme
- - Wave 1 (June-July 2008)
Optimus Prime - Out here (limited release)


Deluxe 2-pack (entertainment pack)
- - Wave 1 (June-July 2008)
Earth mode Optimus Prime Vs Cybertron mode Megatron (with DVD in American release) - Out here
(different Optimus mould to the single pack Deluxe)
-- Wave 2 (Oct-Nov 2008)
Jetfire & Jetstorm (form Safeguard) (with comic) - Out here (limited release)



Animated - smaller sizes and gimmick lines

Activators
- - Wave 1 (June-July 2008)
Bumblebee (Autobot) - Out here
Bulkhead (Autobot) - Out here
Starscream (Decepticon) - Out here
- - Wave 2 (Aug-Sept 2008)
Optimus Prime (Autobot)
Lockdown (Decepticon)
Ratchet (Autobot)
- - Wave 3 (Oct 2008)
Patrol Bumblebee (redeco)
Thundercracker (redeco)
- - Wave 4 (Nov 2008)
Megatron - Out here (limited release)
Grimlock - Out here (limited release)
Bandit Lockdown (redeco) - Out here (limited release)
- - Wave 5 (Dec 2008-Jan 2009)
Cliffjumper (redeco)
Dirge (redeco)
- - Wave 6 (Feb-March 2009)
Fireblast Grimlock (redeco)
Soundwave
- - Wave 7 (Apr-May 2009)
Armor Up Optimus Prime (redeco)
Battlefield Bumblebee (redeco)
- - Wave 8 (June-July 2009)
Electromagnetic Soundwave (redeco) - CANCELLED


Bumper Battlers
- - Wave 1 (June-July 2008)
Autobot Ratchet (Autobot) - Out here
Bumblebee (Autobot) - Out here
Optimus Prime (Autobot) - Out here
- - Wave 2 (Aug-Sept 2008)
Bulkhead (Autobot) - Out here (limited release)
Autobot Jazz (Autobot) - Out here (limited release)
- - Wave 3 (Oct 2008)
Sting Racer Bumblebee (Autobot - redeco)
Nightwatch Optimus Prime (Autobot - redeco)
- - Wave 4 (Nov 2008)
Lockdown (Decepticon)
Soundwave (Decepticon)
- - Wave 5 (Feb-Apr 2009) (apparently this wave never hit America before the line was axed)
Workzone Bulkhead (Autobot - redeco) - Out here (limited release)
Stealth Ninja Jazz (Autobot - redeco) - Out here (limited release)


Universe Legends
- - (Oct-Nov 2008)
Optimus Prime (Anim Autobot)
Bumblebee (Anim Autobot)
Prowl (Anim Autobot)
- - (Dec 2008-Jan 2009)
Starscream (Decepticon)


Other
- - (June-July 2008)
Optimus Prime Battle Blaster (Autobot Roleplay) - Out here (limited release)
Optimus Prime Handheld Game (Autobot Shiftech) - Out here (limited release)
- - (Aug-Sept 2008)
Cyberspeed Bumblebee (Autobot Power Bot) - Out here (limited release)
- - (Oct-Nov 2008)
Street Patrol Bumblebee (Autobot Power Bot - redeco)
- - (Jun-July 2009)
Megatron Battle Blaster (Decepticon Roleplay) - CANCELLED
Bumblebee Handheld Game (Autobot Shiftech) - CANCELLED


Store Exclusives
- - (Aug-Sept 2008)
The Legacy of Bumblebee (3xDeluxe Autobot) (Classic Bumblebee (repack), Premium Movie Bumblebee (repack), Animated Bumblebee (redeco))
(US Walmart/AUS Kmart Sep/Oct)
Bulkhead (Leader) w/ Bumblebee (Act) (repacks) (US TRU/AUS TRU Oct)
Megatron (Leader) w/ Starscream (Act) (repacks) (US TRU/AUS TRU Oct)
- - (Dec 2008-Jan 2009)
Stealth Lockdown (DLX redeco) w/ Optimus Prime & Bumblebee (Legends minor redecos) (US Target/AUS unknown)
Rescue Ratchet (DLX redeco) w/ Prowl & Starscream (Legends minor redecos) (US Target/AUS unknown)
Bulkhead (Voyager) w/ Autobot Jazz (BBat) (repacks) - CANCELLED?
Optimus Prime (Voyager) w/ Autobot Ratchet (BBat) (repacks) - CANCELLED?
Optimus Prime Vs Blackarachnia (Deluxe repacks) (US Walmart/AUS Kmart?) - (The Revenge of Blackarachnia)
Prowl Vs Megatron (Deluxe repacks) (US Walmart/AUS Kmart?) - (Battle in Space)
- - (Feb-Mar 2009)
Sunstorm (Voyager redeco) Vs Ratchet (Activator repack) (US Target/AUS BigW?)
Shockwave (Voyager redeco) Vs Bumblebee (Activator repack) (US Target/AUS BigW?)
- - (2009/2010?)
Arcee (Deluxe) (US TRU Excl - Not released here)
Cybertronian Ratchet (Deluxe) (US TRU Excl - Not released here)
- - (mid 2010)
Ironhide (Deluxe redeco) (US TRU Excl - Not released here)
Rodimus Major (Deluxe) (US TRU Excl - Not released here)
- - (mid 2011)
Cheetor (DLX redeco of Blurr) (Club exclusive)
Motormaster (redeco VOY Optimus) (BotCon exclusive)
Wildrider (redeco DLX Lockdown) (BotCon exclusive)
Dragstrip (redeco DLX Arcee) (BotCon exclusive)
Dead End (redeco DLX Jazz) (BotCon exclusive)
Breakdown (redeco DLX Rodimus Major) (BotCon exclusive)
Gen2 Sideswipe (redeco DLX Rodimus Major) (BotCon exclusive)
Toxitron (redeco VOY Optimus) (BotCon exclusive)
Auto-Trooper (redeco DLX Cybertronian Ratchet) (BotCon exclusive)
Fisitron (redeco DLX Cybertronian Ratchet) (BotCon attendee exclusive)
Minerva (redeco DLX Arcee) (BotCon Custom Class exclusive)
- - (Aug-Oct 2013)
Jackpot (redeco DLX Jazz) (Subscription figure)
(Slipstream (using DLX TFPrime Starscream mould) (Subscription figure))


Japanese Exclusives (there might be some limited edition items I may have missed/left out, due to there being so many of them)
Deluxe Elite Guard Prowl (redeco of first version)
Deluxe Dark Rodimus (redeco)
Voyager Jetpack (Hydrodrive) Bumblebee (new)
Voyager Wingblade Optimus Prime (redeco with accessories)
Voyager Blackout (new)
Voyager Elite Guard Optimus (redeco)
Voyager Optimus Prime (black version) (redeco)
Activators Ramjet (redeco)
Activators Skywarp (redeco)
Activators Soundblaster (redeco)
Activators Optimus Prime (translucent "The Cool" version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Elite Guard Prowl (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Prowl (clear smoke version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Bumblebee (completely translucent version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Starscream (completely translucent dark purple version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Thundercracker (completely translucent blue redeco)
EZ (Legends) Skywarp (completely translucent pink-purple redeco)
EZ (Legends) Sunstorm (completely translucent orange redeco)
EZ (Legends) Ramjet (completely translucent white redeco)
EZ (Legends) Black Starscream Clone (completely translucent black & clear redeco)
EZ (Legends) Elite Guard Bumblebee (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Elite Guard Optimus (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Optimus (translucent red version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Optimus (Gold version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Optimus (limited translucent version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Bumblebee (limited translucent version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Prowl (limited translucent version) (redeco)
EZ (Legends) Starscream (limited translucent version) (redeco)
2010 Sons of Cybertron DLX 2-pack (Earth Mode Optimus & Rodimus) (translucent)


McDonalds Animated Happy Meal toys (6 toys in America - 4 in Australia)
Bumblebee, Megatron, Optimus Prime, Autobot Ratchet (released AUS Sep/Oct 2008)
Lugnut, Starscream (not released here)


What are your Best and Worst toys of this Era?

What was your first one, and when?

What ones are you currently most looking for and why?

Show us some pics of your collection of the ones you have.

Last edited by griffin; 15th October 2013 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 15th October 2013, 12:33 AM
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While typing up all that, I was actually surprised at how brief the Animated series was. I had in my mind that since it was a 3-season cartoon, the series (and toys) was out for about 3 years as well... but no. The advance screening of the cartoon in America in December 2007 was misleading, as the toys didn't get released until middle of 2008. (there was an advance release in Cincinnati for the BotCon in April)
And since there were four US ToysRUs exclusive Deluxes released in 2010, plus the Japanese version starting by 2010, it all had me feeling like the series was indeed about 3 years long (2007 to 2010/2011).

But with the global release being June-ish of 2008, it really surprised me to realise that by June-ish 2009, just 12 months later, the Animated toyline was over, and all unreleased items were cancelled. (and some that must have just started production, were stopped, and their limited number appeared in just a couple of countries... or just on ebay)

It was only a few years ago, but I had totally forgotten that it was such a short series... and yet, it is one of the more popular ones in the fandom. Or at least, one of the few series that has inspired fans to want to see more from it (as in, cartoons/comics and/or toys).
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Old 15th October 2013, 12:52 PM
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What are your Best and Worst toys of this Era?
My Best would have to go to Deluxe Cybertronian Optimus Prime. I think it is one of the most overlooked figures in the line.
It is articulate, good looking, decent transformation, and pretty accurate to the show.

Worst would have to go to the 2 Cybertronian Megatron figures. Robot modes look find. It is just the vehicle modes, they just don't really look like anything. The Deluxe is the worst offender of this.

What was your first one, and when?
I picked up wave 1 and 2 of the deluxes when they came out on BBTS.

What ones are you currently most looking for and why?
I keep eyeing off TFCC Slipstream. I just don't know how well she would fit in with the other 3 animated seekers.
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Old 15th October 2013, 02:02 PM
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I wasn't a big fan of Animated toys, mostly due to poor production quality. I believe this was caused by a shift in Hasbro's manufacturing locations and the effects were not just confined to Animated.

I think Animated toys suffered the most though due to poor design choices, particularly around ball joints, plugs/tabs and weight distribution. Aesthetically the toys were brilliant with reasonable cartoon accuracy and neat transformations and possibly the best accessories in terms of playability and relevance.

However none of this means much when your toy has floppy arms, doesn't lock together neatly or can't stand up straight
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Old 15th October 2013, 06:34 PM
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What are your Best and Worst toys of this Era?
- Best: (Leader class) Megatron & Ultra Magnus, (Deluxe Class) Swindle, Rodimus Minor & Lockdown
- Worst: Dirge (bad colouring) and Snarl just for the confusion he caused.

What was your first one, and when?
Got about 8 at once off the shelves when I came across them in 2008. But maybe the first one I picked up of the 8 was Cybertonian-Mode Megatron

What ones are you currently most looking for and why?

- Sunstorm, Skywarp, Blackout & Ratbat. Why? Because I WANT them! But have yet to find them cheap enough for my budget .

Show us some pics of your collection of the ones you have.
Don't have any shots of the whole gang, but here are pics of the first ones and last ones of the era I got


FIRST LOT



LAST LOT
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Old 15th October 2013, 06:58 PM
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And I wasn't going to collect the Animated figures...



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Old 15th October 2013, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayzaPrime View Post
And I wasn't going to collect the Animated figures...
Same. Yet my collection is growing slowly

They are fantastic figures. I haven't had any problems with mine like Lint has so it's nothing but love from this corner

The line gave us arguably the best leader class toy ever (Megatron) and some awesome deluxes. Of note are Jazz, Lockdown, Lugnut (too small though), Hot Rod, the list goes on! How they crammed such aesthetics into a transforming robot is forever a source of admiration
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Old 16th October 2013, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayzaPrime View Post
I saw the blue and green versions of Arcee on the shelf and wondered if they were some Japanese redecos I had missed... but eventually found that they were just KOs. Which was a pity, as that mould could do with a couple redecos for the various "token females" in TFs.
I woulda snapped them up instantly if Hasbro or TT had done them.
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Old 16th October 2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
McDonalds Animated Happy Meal toys (6 toys in America - 4 in Australia)
Bumblebee, Megatron, Optimus Prime, Autobot Ratchet (released AUS Sep/Oct 2008)
Lugnut, Starscream (not released here)
Hey Bossbot, you forgot French McDonald's Blitzwing!


What are your Best and Worst toys of this Era?

Best

Deluxe Rodimus: Just a stand out mold that came in a lot of great colours. Hyper Hobby Black Rodimus and Botcon Sideswipe being my favourites.
Blurr: Clever design, love dem legs.
Arcee: So cute! In both modes, tidy and fun.

Worst
Activators Optimus: it just will not stay together.
Activators Lockdown: mini murder moke has the same problem. Great details though.
McRatchet Deluxe: You all know the one I'm talking about.


What was your first one, and when?

Deluxe Bumblebee and Prowl, from Myers of all places, at full price. They were the first store to get the TFA toys in and I was so excited to see them, well I just had to buy them right there. I used money that I'd received in a high school art prize to buy them.

What ones are you currently most looking for and why?

Time was, I was a TFA completionist, right down to the most bizarre merchandise. I have the boogie board. Also, two skateboards (one with sick flashing wheels!) all still in plastic wrap.
I gave up finding the Japanese clear Thundercracker and "Starscream Clone Black Version" legends exclusives though. ugh.



But now.
I am literally only looking for a piece of cardboard.

One I had, but was trashed in the 2011 flood. And then given false hope when I found the regular version with our dry salvage a few months ago, but nothing more.

I'll stop being so melodramatic, it's the backing card/tray/box for Stealth Ninja Bumper Battler Jazz. Australian Exclusive (and possibly NZ/Europe also)

Sell me a piece of cardboard, I will make you a good deal.



and, peut-Ítre
...french McDonald's Blitzwing.

Show us some pics of your collection of the ones you have.

These are the only decent photos I have on hand right now.



Microbots!



Yep.
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Old 16th October 2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin View Post
I saw the blue and green versions of Arcee on the shelf and wondered if they were some Japanese redecos I had missed... but eventually found that they were just KOs. Which was a pity, as that mould could do with a couple redecos for the various "token females" in TFs.
I woulda snapped them up instantly if Hasbro or TT had done them.
I would have loved an official release of the female bots, I managed to pick these 2 up from a KO website (can't remember which one). The blue bot actually has a purple Autobot symbol on her chest, but I just put a repolabel sticker over the top.

Surprisingly for a KO the quality of the figure is pretty good.
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