Saturday 1 January 2022

2021 Toy Recap and Toy of the Year

Award Inage
Stock Image so that the final toy of the year isn't prematurely revealed.

Well, its the end of another year and so time to do a little wrap up post. I know for a fact I intended to do one of these for 2020, but managed to forget about it until April or so and had therefore felt like it lost any relevance.  

So, here's a link to the last one I did in 2019

Final link is a pretty comprehensive summary and short description of all my gaming gets throughout the year of 2021.

Blog wise, I am kinda happy with what I have accomplished.  I managed to finish up the Generations Selects Manga translations and effect editing, which I enjoyed immensely and also learnt a HEAP about how to do use photoshop and other editing tools, so on personal growth things it was great.  Not to mention the bonus warm feels I get when I hear/read about people enjoying them as well.  (Despite the struggles of the initial story in the first place ).

Secondly I had a rather exciting spurt of video editing  fun and capsule toys, which I would like to keep up with.  It was all going smoothly with a nice flow of video creation, until my little laptop started grinding to a halt.  So I had to get a new one, this time though I focused a bit more on raw power, as when I bought the last, I think I was still editing on *ahem* windows live movie maker, and after that proved inadequate graduated to something better, but the computer had trouble handling it.  Now I put the video requirement at the head of my goals for the computer.  So I have a nice sexy new computer, but have been EXTREMELY lax reinstalling and carrying various files across.  
I am slowly getting my act together though, so if you like those capsule videos please stand by.  

I guess I will summarise the yearly blog wrap with, while blog posts were a slow slog, personal growth and skills increased quite a bit.


(After the jump)

First up a the usual list of what I grabbed.  Which are, yet again, mostly Transformers.  Skip to the bottom of the list for the low down.


  • Fast Track 

  • Airwave

  • Doublecrosser

  • Soundbarrier

  • Runabout

  • Botropolis Set

  • Blastmaster + Phuser


  • Blackarachnia

  • Rodimus Prime

  • Cyclonus

  • Huffer

  • Inferno

  • Airrazor


  • Ratchet (TTmall)


  • Bumblebee (G1VW)

Studio Series

Hot Rod



Wreck Gar


  • Abominus

  • Bugbite  (WFC)

  • Exhaust (WFC)


  • Gigawatt

Other Figures

  • Mafex Gambit

  • Figuarts Pacman

  • Motu Origins Scareglow

  • Sega Saturn Model Kit

  • Mafex Wolverine (Xmas Pressy

Megablox (Multi set)

  • Scareglow

  • Tri-klops

  • Man-E-Faces

  • Roboto

  • TrapJaw

Too Many Capsule toys to count

Overall I've been extremely impressed with the Transformers selection this year.  There has been very few bad ones.  IN fact, I would say from my list above, none of them are bad toys.  They all have a great look to them and decent articulation.  
However, I have been pickier with my choices.  Take for example Earthrise Arcee.  While the robot mode looks pretty nice, the vehicle just looks terrible and I don't really see it as that great an upgrade over Legends Arcee.  So I have skipped.  Normally I would've grabbed her as well just for whatevs.

SO, I think I will just give a brief run over each one.  

Earthrise figures.

Fast Track.
A nice update of the unknown guy that came with G1 Scorponok, and that was my main reason for getting him.  He has a seat for Lord Zarak which is nice, but also a terribly naff vehicle mode.  I also find it had to make him into convincing weapons for other toys.  Finally, I find the spear mode for Scorponok to be a tad underwhelming as well. A shame, but what yo gonna do.  
Must get level: Medium

Another break apart guy.  I got this guy mainly because he is a light coloured Decepticon guy and I like that.  He also fits nicely with Sky Lynx.  The "vehicle" mode and base mode are pretty good and his proportions give the impression that his robot mode is pretty big and tough looking.  This guy is nice enough that I went and got his recolour in the Botroplis set. 
Must Get level: Medium-high.

Represented as an innocent victim in the select comic, this two headed chump gets munched on and turned into bird feed.  It's a ramp, and that's about it.  But it does have 4 connection points which is nice, but it is only a ramp and a somewhat derpy looking robot..
Must get level: Low

Another ramp guy.  I totally skipped this guy first round and only bought him after his Optimus loving self was electrocuted and turned into a snake in the Selects manga.  It looked painful.  Again, poor transformation and it's just a ramp.  Oh and in Japan, all these ramp guys were TTmall exclusives making them mail order only. boo. And by default more expensive than I would've liked.
Must get level: Low

Blastmaster and Phuser
Having a hard on for space shuttles, I eventually got these guys on a second run. Again, TTmall exclsives, along with Doubleheader, Soundbarrier and Airwave, BM and PH ended up being better than I expected, the wo robots have decent articulation and sculpting, and the space shuttle looks good.  Also the split shuttle mode each have a min cockpit kinda making them seperate vehicles too.
Must get level: High

Botroplis set
Consisting of different coloured Blastmaster & Phuser, Ironworks and Airwave  (under a new name for faction change) these guys are all coloured to fit with Sky Lynx to make a launch base.  Oh it also comes with Doubledealer's inter-continental ballistic missile. A surprising hodge podge collection that is pretty cool.  The only bummer was the set was an Amzon US exclusive making it hard to attain.
Must get level: Medium.

My sexy sexy Battlechargers finally got a good update.  this time they have different faces. At last!  Runabout was a TTmall exclusive, but then so was Runamuck and to be honest it was a lot easier for me in Japan to get one tat for those in Australia and even America I believe.  Mould is good and fun.  Toy looks great in both modes and the colours are great.  Get one. 
Must have level: high if you have Runamuck, medium if not.

Siege figures.

Ratchet (ttMall)
This guy was TTmall here in japan and they didn't annonce him until super duper late.  But once you got your order in it was guranteed and they did a re-run, so it was relatively easy, just very late.  The toys is pretty nice with a really good white plastic and a few nice additional accessories in the likes of "operating" tools.  A fun little"extra" operating bed mode and this guy is half decent.
Must get level: Medium-high

Netflix WFC

I thought War for Crybertron was meant for space modes.  This guy should totally be in Earthrise.  As a small, but complex deluxe figure he seems a little pricey, but is a quality figure, although I don't like the weapon very much.  Articulation is nice and vehicle mode os well done.  A mini masterpiece Bumblebee.
Must get level: High.


A very nice, but small figure. After the initial excitement and then disappointment with the masterpiece version, I was rather pleased to see this one turn up.  While the MP robot mode looked great, the spider mode was somewhat lacking.  And at MP prices, I don't really want lacking parts.  This deluxe sized one has a good robot mode and a better and simpler (I think) beast mode.  The paint isn't quite as sexy as the MP, but I'm willing to overlook that.  I do worry about long term floppiness with this toy.  I think it will be prone.
Must get level: Medium -High depending on your like towards Beast Wars.

A nice toy this one.  Rather good articulation for robot mode with very little hindrance on the joints, and amazing articulation on the beast mode and wings.  Super impressive. Hopefully a sign of future articulated beast modes.
Must get level: High

A bit of an odd one Huffer.  A great looking robot that manages t fairly successfully pull off the look of the worried little whiner, and yet doesn't.  He comes with some nicely sculpted weapons, but overall looks a tad too heroic and buff for my liking.  I do like the truck mode and the option to add the tray if you so desire, but it has an odd curve to it which just manages to irk me enough to make me think of it whenever I look at it.  It's cool, but I don't quite get Huffer vibes from it.  Maybe, "Tuffer" vibes over anything else.  Like if Huffer was a hard-arse.
Must get level: Low

Very nice toy this one.  Very G1-esque, but with cool TV show proportions and a fair whack of articulation.  Good guns and ladder etc.  Also has and awesome head sculpt.  Great fun!  I'm always torn with these mould mates, do I get Grapple, or Inferno?  My only complaint is that he's VERY red.  Maybe I should've waited for Artfire?
Must get level: High

I skipped preordering this guy and it was a pain finding him afterwards.  But holy crappoly, I'm glad I did, what a goddam good figure.  Although initially hesitant at the face sculpt and legs from online pictures, he actually looks amazing in plastic.  Articulation is damn good and the colours are cartoony delish!    On top of that, no extra vehicle parts hanging off and looking out of place over the robot mode  giving him a very sleek profile and imposing look.
ADD to that, some voodoo magic shit going on with transformation and somehow ending up in a very sleek, perfect looking forward wing space ship jet mode.  With retractable landing gear.
HOLY SHIT HE'S GOOD!  My only complaint is he has theses possibly air intake things that become part of the chest that don't quite clip in anywhere nicely for the jet. However that is relatively minor.
Must get level: EXTREMELY high.

Rodimus Prime
Everybody's favouriet insecure leader.  I remember seeing images of Rodimus on the Hasbro pulse video thing and I was in from the start.  I've a soft spot for space camper van man leader guy.  Why that vehicle mode? I really wanna know.  
Anyhoo, getting off track there.  This guy is a Commander class which brought a bit of controversy as he isn't as chunky and large as the previous Commanders of Skyfire and Sky Lynx. However he is nicely complex with a fun transformation and god tier robot mode articulation.  Sky Lynx was cool because he was simple and big with a base mode.  Rodimus ain't so big but is satisfyingly complex without being infuriating.  You could've sold me this as a Masterpiece Rodimus years ago and I would've accepted that.
His trailer is also jam packed full of storage and stuff.
Plus he comes with a matrix. That fits in his chest. Although it's a tad too small for his hands. Oh and its moulded as an open matrix, as opposed to the closed one that comes with Studio series Hot Rod.
He now also comes with a separate vehicle mode.  Fine, but it doesn't quite fit all that snugly into the trailer.  The original smoothly combined with the trailer to give the impression of a single vehicle.  This one obviously has a sports car jammed in under a trailer thing.
Takara cheated by calling his vehicle mode a "Cybertron truck" mode,  yeah, nah mate.  On the plus side the back of the sports cars is beefy as and gives me a good "What if..." Rodimus was transferred to Mad Max vibe.  
Serious Toy of the year contender here lads, lasses, and lasdes. 
Must get level: Extremely highly YES.


A lot of these toys fell under other series, and TT slapped them together for online only sales from their store, so most are limited releases with a little bit of extra mark up for good measure. Damn.

Cliffjumper toy with Bumblebee's head. And very white. Originally based on Gobot/Machinemen and taken from an E-hobby set that had a character taken to the Transformers collectors club.  What an adventure. He has lost his tribal tattoos from hic club days, but that's ok.  It's a shame he isn't a Volkswagen beetle anymore, but, legal stuff right?  
It's an ok figure.  Th bigger car bonnet makes for incredibly awkward looking feet though, but not really and surprises from the Bumblebee write up since they share the same set up.  Slightly loses marks because of the exclusivity thing.
Must get level: Low-Medium 

Based on Wheeljack's diaclone colouring and given a kick arse bio totally (not) linked to cigarettes and mystical smoke powers while being a depressed office worker, I have a soft spot for the piss-taking nature of Exhaust.  I want them all.
Anther white based toy, his vehicle mode is incredibly 80s sharp super car.  Better than WFC Wheeljack (his base) as he isn't covered in shit stains. Needs a slightly better hand gun.  Also all his race decals seem to have some minor link to booze, smokes and gambling.  Me likey.
Must get level: High

My soft spot for the Terrocons is big.  The POTP ones were very nice and I got them.  Then TTmall announced the Selects version with cartoony paint apps and a new chest plate.  I caved and got them.  They're nice.  Hun-Gurr has a remoulded chest to account for the chest sheild and they got improved hands and feet, which all those POTP combiners could benefit from.
They featured int he Selects comic, but faded out towards the end in favour of the Dinobots.  A shame as I thought their representation was pretty good.  They really instilled Terror.
However I can't really recommend them as they aren't that much different to their generl release figires and for the US cartoon, only showeed up for maaaaybbeeee 3 episodes in this colouring.  TTmall cobiners were heavily markedd up too. Only for the threee Terrorcon fans (and me).
Must get level: Low

Studio Series

Hot Rod
Another smaller figure busted up to larger size.  Standing deluxe height and vehicle, his transformation complexity and articulation is rather high.  Cool poses can be done a plenty and he is great fun to play with.  His shoulders are a bit too close to the chest, but that's my only robot complaint. Vehicle looks cool, except from the back, but it does need a little bit of panel massaging to get together properly.
He's nice, but pales in comparison to Rodimus and was on the expensive size.  If you like Hot Rod, you're good.  if you like good toys, no matter the cost, you're good.  He isn't for everyone, despite coming with cool shades.
Must get Level: Medium.

bought to go with Hot Rod. No sign of Blurr. He's all right and comes apart.  Looks crabby and skinny and generally worn out.  I like him. Fantastic light piping in the eyes.  Vehicle mode is nice and tightly held together as well as looking very close to the cartoon.  Shame that his arms always pop out when I transform him.  Oh and he comes with energon goodies.  
Must get level: Low, unless you have Hot Rod, in which case HIGH.

I like sharkticons and this guy is a cute.  Reminiscent of the rotund never produced Unicron as well as that one imagee of Galvatron with Unicron's fa body, he looks like a cute little fatty.  Cankles, ugg boots, and oversized hoody and pretty good articuation to got with it all. On top of that, great colours, this guy is a winner in my books.  Beast mode is an ugly little goblin of a shark.  I do wish the hips were a bit better for shrak leg posing and the shark arms should be a bit more towards the back. They should also be on ball joints, as the hinges limit the range so much, but I bet there was some reason for whay they aren't.
The saddest thing about Gnaw is he shows how shit the Allicon is.  He should've been so much better.
Must get level: Medium- high

Wreck Gar
Never sure whether that one word, or to hyphenate or what.
Very nice, vey nice indeed.  Awesome robot mode, colours are great, wonderful ankle action and clever coverage. He comes with an ab-crunch!!!   Vehicle mode can seat other Transformers and looks good.  With no-one sitting on him though, it can look a bit unfinished and hole-y seated.  Awesome Mad Max vibes from this one too.  Personality out the whazoo!
Must get level: High

Transformers Crossover

A really nice remake from Sideswipe.  He has great bushed steel paintwork action going on, the ability to change between Movie 1 & 2 versions and a flux capacitor in his chest.  The head sculpt is a bit goggly, but it ain't too terrible.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Sad to say though, I wanted some quality action because he was damn expensive.
Must get level: Low (price was obscene).

That's it for the TFs
Taking a typing break. aaaand Back again

Non- Transformers.

Rather sadly I've not spent much time with many of the non-TF toys.  Does that make me a bad person? Damn right it does.

Mafex Gambit
Mafex can be a bit hit and miss sometimes. their sculpts look great, but paint and QC can sometimes be a let down. However, Gambit from the X-men doesn't have many toys to choose from, so I took a gamble.  And I think it was successful!  This toy is nice.  No busted bits, it seems solid enough and looks cool standing next to my previously acquired Mafex Cyclops.  I ended up selling the Revoltech Yamaguchi Gambit to help justify this one.  While the Yamaguchi one was cool and accurately pulled off the SF VS Gambit look, I've come to the conclusion I don't really like Revoltech joints.  They're just too damn fiddly.  
Mafex also comes with a very nice cloth trenchcoat for Gambit.  Yes, I guess I am into dress up dolls now.
Must get level: Medium. (would be high if not so expensive)

Mafex Brown Wolverine
Having thought deeply and almost pulling the trigger on the first colour, I decided to not get they yellow one as the blue chest stripes should have been black.  I don't know where they sourced that idea from, but I didn't like it.  Luckily my logical thinking came to the conclusion they would do another colour and they did the brown costume one.  So far I'll say it looks cool.  He's going under the Xmas tree for now, so no other comments as yet.
Okay, update:  I got it and it's pretty good. Seems pretty solid and doesn't have any loose joints yet.  Lots of articulation so posing is pretty smooth and great.  The colour and plastic choice is pretty good and he has a fun selection of alternate heads.  The paint work on them isn't as high quality as the promotion pics (stubble is bit lacking definition) but the sculpts are great and it isn't that noticeable as long as you don't look too closely.  
So far, Mafex have been doing pretty well for themselves lately.  I should hope so too due to the obscene cost of these guys.  
Must get level: Medium. (would be high if not so expensive) - Just like Gambit.

Figuarts Pacman
I bought this guy mainly because I found some rather interesting capsule toy ghosts of Pacman.  And Pacman wasn't very expensive at all.  He's a rather nice toy with a surprising amount of articulation and a few accessories.  I  like it.
Must get level: low-medium depending on character love

Sega Saturn Model Kit
There was no way I could skip this.  A model kit with lots of bits and pieces, and currently sitting in the box.  I'll put it together one day.  It's very cool.
Must get level: YES

Megablox Heman figures.
A 5 pack set of Masters of the Universe figures from Megablox.  I really love Megablox figures, they work with lego and manage to look pretty cool as well and have cool articulation.  It has a good selection of characters; Man E Faces, Roboto, Trap Jaw, Triklops and my Glow in the dark Boyo Scareglow and so I desperately wanted one.  Still unopened, they look fun and will be fun.  I can feel it.
Must get level: SCAREGLOW

MOTU Origins Scareglow
Glow in the dark toys are ace.  Scareglow is cool and this guy is nifty.  Again a pain in the arse to acquire in Japan, I think I paid a scalper to get me one.  It was off amazon and wasn't ridiculously priced, but more than RRP.  I like it, it glows nicely and looks skeletonny enough.  Shame the paint work doesn't quite pull of the skeleton look as effectively as the Classics one or the Megablox.  BUT it is another GITD figure for me.
Must get level: SCAREGLOW x 2

Various Capsule toys
My capsules toys have been fun and I have been enjoying doing the videos, I think from next year I'll keep a more detailed list of purchases.  Overall I've been pretty pleased and there has been quite a few interesting and curious ones that have popped up. 
 Must get level: Will be deeply personal.
Thanks to  friend's input, I've really been enjoying grabbing various pull back cars and so I would say that the TakaraTomy Arts Batmobiles have been the one's I've enjoyed the most.

Stay tuned as I'll be updating the videos a bit more soon!

Now for the toy of the year.

And thanks for sticking with me until the very end.  If you took the time to read everything, I think you already know, but my toy of the Year is....

Kingdom Rodimus Prime.

Like I said before, the moment I saw the artwork for him, I knew he'd be good.  Great transformation, very nice articulation, and  nice looking robot mode.  He looks tough and I would love to see some Rodimus Prime stories with him being a confident leader and kicking some arse.  I never really got the reasoning for him having a sword this time, but it's cool and looks nice.  His gun is a tad thin though and doesn't store anywhere when in trailer mode.

The robot mode is just sex in a hat though.  My only complaint would be I wish there was a bit more room for head movement, however that niggles is countered by them giving him pointing fingers.  I live this aspect, it's so cool and adds so much to the toy.

A brilliant toy, everyone should have one!

So, normally I have a link to what I'm looking forward to for the next year, and I gotta s ay, I don't really know.

I have the toy coloured Galvatron ordered and Emperor Starscream, Pipes and Slammer in the scope.  But generally I think I'm looking forward to winding down the TFs a bit to be honest. 
I've said that before and I'm still doing it, so who can say....

See ya next year then I guess

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