Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime

Transformers: Generations is a toy line that started in 2010. It took up the Transformers: Universe (which was also the successor of another toy line, Transformers Classics) in Hasbro's line up, which was to cater to the fans of the entire Transformers franchise by featuring characters based on the different Transformers continuities and properties. This included the Generation 1 cartoon, the IDW Publishing comic series, and the video game, Transformers: War for Cybertron.

Seeing as the War for Cybertron video game was successful, and considering that without the movie series in theaters, it's Hasbro's big cash cow (aside from toys of course), it's little wonder that we're already seeing toys from its sequel, Fall of Cybertron.

The Dark Knight Rises

There was a time when I would have said that Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy was the perfect example about how to do a comic book movie. He took the material and removed the idea that comic book films needed to be campy: that there was no way that you could approach it from a serious angle. That's how we got all those crappy adaptations we did back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Remember Adam West's Batman? Remember Schumacher and the Bat-nipples?

Batman Begins not only re-booted a dying franchise that was killed by that idea, it also showed people that the material could be taken seriously and you could appeal to a larger audience that wasn't indoctrinated into the inner circle of geekdom and steeped in decades of Batman canon. It showed us that a movie based on a superhero didn't need to be outlandish fantasy: that these legends could, in fact, be real.

Generations Shockwave

I got all three of the first wave of the 2012 Transformers: Generations figures a few weeks ago. Though I missed out on the distribution, I was able to get a set from one of the awesome guys at Cybertron Philippines. It's a good thing, too since apparently, Shockwave is already pretty popular.

It's easy to see why it would be so. The Shockwave figure from the movie, while cool-looking, didn't really feel like the guy us old fogeys remember from the Generation 1 era. Back then, he was Megatron's second in command: the guy he left back on Cybertron to make sure that no one went and clogged the toilets or broke any of the fine china. Next to Soundwave, he was probably the best of the Decepticons because like Megs, he transformed into a gun, but he also lit up and made pew pew pew noises.

Fall of Cybertron Jazz

I've been eyeing the new Fall of Cybertron-based Deluxe Class Transformers since we first got wind of them a couple of months ago. Wave 1 looked extremely promising in the solicitation photos provided by Hasbro, but early word that they'd shrunk significantly since the last Transformers: Generations batch put a damper on things, especially since they're still at the same price point of the previous Deluxe Class figures (Php 700.00).

Still, I couldn't help but sign up and get a batch. Having been absent on the distribution day, one of the guys at Cybertron Philippines was kind enough to help those that missed out with some of the leftovers. Though they reportedly made it to shelves, I wasn't able to see them in the wild. It looks like the Transformers: Prime line is still he one to beat at the toy store.

Family Dollar Terminator: Salvation 2-Packs

Back in 2009, we were subjected to the craptastic Terminator: Salvation. Like Terminator: Rise of the Machines, it was a sequel that just didn’t seem to understand what had made the first two installments so great. Lesser directors, lesser actors, and increasingly convoluted continuities made for a muddled mess that was no longer entertaining. That simple, unyielding dread of being all alone, on the run from an unstoppable, single-minded killing machine just wasn’t there.

The fact that the film underperformed at the box office probably contributed to the lack of demand for the movie toy line, but I think the real problem was that the main consumer base had little interest in it and that it was far too simple to attract the collectors. The figures had basic articulation, uninspired accessories, and sculpting that looked very rough. With NECA producing far superior, collector-centric toys like the Pescadero Escape Terminator, a toy based on a far more successful installment of the franchise, the Playmates versions weren’t long for this world.

In the 3rd quarter of 2009 – just a few months after the toys came out – Playmates announced that the line was dead.

The Amazing Bag-Man

Back in 1984, Spider-man realized that one does not pick up aliens on backwater planets in distant star systems. During Secret Wars, while trapped on Battleworld, a planet created by the Beyonder so he could play with 616’s superhero population, Peter Parker finds a black costume and decides it’s a good idea to wear it. Back on Earth, he visits the Fantastic Four and Reed Richards discovers that (gasp!) it’s alive!

They take it off our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, who unfortunately didn’t bring a change of clothes. What’s a superhero to do? Borrow a pair of shorts, an appropriately geeky T-shirt and some flip-flops and go down the elevator like a normal guy?

Of course not.

He borrows one of the FFs spare long johns and puts a bag over his head.

Professor X

When I first got started reading the X-Men, Professor X wasn’t around. If I remember correctly, this was the tail end of Chris Claremont’s run on the title, when artists like Silvestri and Lee were handling penciling duties. The professor was off in the Shi’ar imperium, gallivanting around with Lilandra, the queen of the aliens. Since he wasn’t a big part of the stories I read in my formative years, I never was a big fan of the character.

It wasn’t until the big 90’s revamp of X-Men that I really started understanding how big a deal he was to the team. It helped that he featured in that big X-Men #1 gatefold (raise your hand if you still have all those variant covers and the special edition!) and played a role in a lot of the stories that came after, including the whole Onslaught thing that I could never really wrap my head around.


Holy Moley! It's Beta Ray Bill!

I was never really a huge fan of Marvel's god of thunder, Thor, but by some odd twist, I remember being a huge fan of his alien counterpart, Beta Ray Bill.

If you're not familiar with the character, it's not surprising. He never really had a huge part in the Marvel universe. He was just a brand new character appearing in Thor #377 in 1983, meant as a new adversary for Thor, who turns out to be a hero, worthy to weild the god's own hammer, Mjolnir. Basically, he kicked Thor's ass.

Avengers Black Widow and Hawkeye

I don’t know about you, but when I watched The Avengers, my second favorite character after Hulk (of course) was Black Widow. After her, it was Hawkeye. Sure Toy Stark’s vicious string of barbed comments are fun, but the big three heroes felt a little less filled out as characters than the “normal” members of the team.

This is probably because Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor have all had recent hit movies under their belts so not as much exposition about them was required. Still, it felt like a Hulk/Black Widow/Hawkeye/Coulson movie to me.

Not that I’m complaining. One cannot have too much of the Son of Coul.

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