Saturday 24 December 2022

Toys of 2022 Summary of the year.

Ya know, my local friend asked me what my toy of the year was and I was unprepared for that question.  I hadn't really thought about it that much to be honest and so I started thinking.  Then I had a look over my blog to see what I had accomplished and had a little read back over my previous years' summary posts.  

2015   2016    2017   2018    2019    2020    2021   

It was interesting to have a read over and also contrast it with my thoughts on this year.  Last year, I reflected on how pleased I was with my blog efforts.  This year, I don't really think I have grown that much, nor been all that productive about it.  Most of my posts have been banging on about my gacha videos, and translation wise there were only two.  

And I feel that summs up the way I feel about my year.  It's been a bit shitty and unproductive.  Both work & life-wise and blog-wise.  Work wise I have been busy, but in a Japanese office-worker way.  High amounts of pointless busy-ness with low amounts of output, which frustrates me greatly.  Blog wise I haven't really felt all that inspired, which probably stems from my lack of interest at work.  A horrid circle that feeds upon itself.  

Welcome to my personal diary it would seem.  Anyway, enough of the mild depression symptoms, let's talk about the good stuff.


Ok, time for the list:

  • Selects Galvatron
  • Earthrise Optimus Prime
  • Studio Series Starscream (coronation)
  • Legacy Dragstrip
  • Legacy Wildrider
  • Legacy Jhiaxus
  • Legacy Motormaster
  • Mafex Spidergwen
  • Figuarts Am (Star Wars Visionaries)
  • Bunch o gacha
  • NewAge Toys EXRhodes (Shining Magnus)
  • Mega Construx Landshark
  • Mega Contrux Battlecat Vs Roton

Wew. That ain't a lot.

Selects Galvatron.

Ever since I saw the Earthrise Galvatron, I liked the look of him and I thought for sure they would pump out a delicious toy coloured version.  Luckily my crazy idea was correct and they did.  Otherwise I would've missed out on a rather nice leader class toy.  

He has the chunk, spunk and looks of Galvatron and tickles my fancy nicely as the UK time travelling DEMI GOD of insane Galvatron from the time wars.  Sure, he aint as cool blue as the UK comic coloured MP Grimlock from a bunch of years ago, but it works well enough for me.  Although I didn't spend a lot of time with that Galvatron, as it was difficult for me to grab the UK comics regularly, he made enough of an impression on me to make me think of my desired Galvatron as that guy.  The cartoon one, was just not as impressive.

One comic I remember well is Death's Head vs Galvs, then Rodimus vs Galvs and finally Goldbug vs Galvs.  Godbug was the cliffhanger, which I was unable to nab.  Damn them UK annuals not coming to my local news agent.  I loved the Rodimus fight and thought the comic actually made Rodimus not look like a twat.  So the first thing I did when I opened Galvs was to grab my commander Roddy and do a size comparison.  I was worried the Leader size couldn't hold up to Commander robot,  But it does rather nicely.

The fact that he comes with little glitter sparkles in his cannon barrel, a creation matrix necklace and a sexy bod' full of "COME GET SOME" just makes it better.  A great toy and a nice looking space cannon mode too.

Earthrise Optimus Prime

Not pictured, the absolute balls trailer

I waited for a while on this and it was only with great convincing from a friend that I caved.  Kinda glad I did.  Very nice robot mode with lost of articulation, good cartoon looking colours and a wonderful transformation with his chest kinda unfolding from within itself. It's very well done.  His legs are a little long in robot mode and do nothing to transform to truck mode, so they look long there too, also very leg like which is a shame but there's no denying this guy is very close to an affordable Masterpiece toy. 

Sadly though the trailer he comes with is absolute ARSE.  A flimsy, slightly small looking rectangular prism with a tower thing (can be used as a jetpack though), BUT completely lacking any sign of Roller.  DISGUSTING!  Also the ramp doesn't just easily flip down, you have to break the trailer open, then it's got a peg in the way because it doubles as a "shield."  The ramp is also small.

Optimus's gun is pretty nice, but doesn't store nicely in truck mode unless you slap it in the trailer, but you can mount it on his back. which is cool.  He also now looks rather small compared to Galvs (this is fine since they didn't really interact), Rodimus and Motormaster (this is especially apparent in vehicle mode).  I suspect a Commander Optimus coming soon.

To summarize:  Fantastic cab and robot, absolutely shithouse trailer.

Studio Series Starscream (coronation bits)

This is a slightly fixed up version of the Voyager figure from Earthrise with possibly cartoon-like colours and bits of dress up for his coronation scene from the Tf Movie. Oh, also a throne, which I don't think he ever sat on, coz, y'know, "Here's a hint" and alla that.  

I liked the voyager Starscream and sold it the moment I heard about this guy.  I wanted that crown matey.  It's the same solid figure, still looks great in vehicle mode, now has opening hands, which look a bit crap when you try to make him make a fist (looks more likes he's trying to sock puppets), and accessories to make him more regal.  New guns, shoulder pads and a solid plastic cap.  They work surprisingly well and he looks bloody good.  I now use the throne for Lord Zarak.

Legacy Dragstrip

A cartoony version of Dragstrip from the Stunticons.  Looks very G1 cartoon.  I like it no real complaints and nothing exceptional.  I do like that you can mount his guns on the vehicle for Roadblasters bang bang.  Awesome vehicle mode (of course, he's Dragstrip)

Legacy Wildrider

Ooh baby, what a sexy vehicle this guy has.  Not quite the Ferrari of his G1 self, but it looks soooo 8-0s super car I love it.  Mountable weapons on the back, a fairly standard transformation, and a weird option to spread the bonnet apart to make it less obvious, by making it more obvious.  A strange choice in my opinion.  His robot mode is super G1 cartoon vibes and is very nice.  Again, nothing exceptional, just a very solid quality toy. Awesome vehicle.

Legacy Jhiaxus

Transformers have been trickier and trickier to find in the wild lately and Jhiaxus here I did find in the wild.  I didn't want to pre-order as I wasn't sure I would like him enough.  Sure the robot mode looked nice, ut his vehicle mode is an absolute joke.  Like some kinda penis jet with balls hanging off the bottom.  It's wierd.  

So I thought I would check it out in the shops, assuming I ever saw one.  And I did see one, 

two in fact!  

But despite Hasnro's new love for "no-plastic packaging" and yet wanting to keep the windows, I couldn't get a good look because.
  1. The open area for the toy is rather small, and most of his body is hidden behind the backing cardboard.
  2. The shop I bought it from wrapped him in cling wrap and slapped a security beeper thing on it.  The cling wrap happened to be over the open part of the box.  At least I know my Jhiaxus Penis plane and unmolested.
It was on sale though  and I though I can always sell it, so I bought it. Glad I did.  Penis plane mode is still a joke, but... eeeeh, it grows (on you) after a while.  

However robot mode, hooooo baby, it's sublime.  So expressive!  His face scuklte has just the right amount of contempt on it.  His hands can open and close for gesticulating extravagantly and his rifles looks big and chunky.  He just oozes the extreme of G2 and the 90s.  It's beautiful!  I was worried about the white looking a bit whack, but I feel it manages to pull off a nice comic-paper-white kinda colour to it.

While I seem to have few Autobot leaders that really get me horny, the Decepticon leaders have been smashing it lately.

Legacy Motormaster

More Stunticons, this time their leader, the bullying bastard Motormaster!  A commander toy, which I've been pretty impressed with.  Sky Lynx would've been my toy of the year, Rodimus was, can MM continue the trend?  

He is impressive!  Nice big truck mode that is noticeably lager than Optimus Prime.  He comes with a heavy ass trailer now which can become a base, or 

(spoiler alert)

The skeleton for Menasor where the other cars clip on like armour (just like the cartoon).  So the truck cab is just Motormaster.  I'm fine with this.  His robot mode is about the same size as Optimus, he manages to keep MM's chunky proportions and colours and he also has a bunch of etxra stuff int he trailer now.

The gets assembled to make Menasor and the cars clip on to the arms and legs while MM plops nicely into the chest area. the result is bloody wonderful, tough, and not floppy as a drunken donger Menasor.  While I can understand some people's misgivings about this:
  1. Often this "cars as armour" was how it worked in the cartoon.
  2. It makes for a satisfyingly solid combined mode
  3. They are fools.
Motormaster manages to be extremely satisfying in every way.  It's good.

Mafex Spider Gwen

Old Spidergwen here I picked up on a whim.  Released a while ago, I bougth it randomly and discovered a frozen shoulder which crumbled.  A quick contact with Mafex (again) and they sent one out asap.  She's been fine ever since.

I quite like this one, she is fun to fiddle with, comes with a nice variety of accessories, has some magnetty bits, such as her hood and is extremely poseable.  I really like that they included some magnetic hands and feet.  So I can have her hanging off the fridge.  

She ended up being my desk toy for a long long time.  Good fun.

Am from Star Wars Visionaries

Another random pick up as I saw all the pre-orders sold out and thought the one in the shop was a good deal.  It wasn't, it was RRP, but, eh, whatcha gonna do?  I was in no hurry to get this one.  I've not seen the Visionaries cartoon as I don't really like the concept as such.  But when I heard Studio Trigger doing one of the episodes, I though, hey, maybe the character designs will be cool.  
I like Trigger's art style, Gurren Lagaan, Kill La Kill and this one episode all ahve simialr art styles and this figure looks great. She also has an inordinate amount of light sabres, and despite have heeled boots, a thin body and lots a junk, is remarkable stable.  Kinda fun.  If a little fiddly.

One day I'll get around to watching the cartoon.

New Age Toys EX Rhodes Aka, unofficial Shining Magnus


Piss Magnus

So, my recent lust for Glow in the dark came to this, a Transformer that Glows in the dark.  Apparently based off of the G1 toy Shining Magnus, for that one moment when he is lit up by the matrix.  What we actually get is a nicely sized Optimus Prime base figure that is highly poseable and transforms and a trailer that can carry little cars and become armour for the little robot.  Which also glows in the dark. Neato.  I don't know why Gitd hasn't been a thing used with Transformers before ya know.  Probably something about tolerances, costs etc.

Anyhoo, this guy is kinda cool  I'd like to go on a full review of it one day. But the short version is the base Optimus robot (Inner Magnus) is pretty well designed and good quality.  Shame it's a total pain in the arse to transform.  The trailer is disassembled and placed on the MiniMagnus (Magnus before Ultra = Super Magnus?) to make Ultra Magnus.  While the diassembly is akin to partsforming, it does mean that Ultra Magnus retains all of Super's articulation. Neato again!

On top of that, while I was initially skeptical of the glow power from the trailer as they used a translucent piss-yellow colouring, it glows really well. AND you can really see the lining and paneling nicely when it glows, so it looks equivalent to a light yellow base with defined lines.  Think of the glow light on the War For Cybertron game robots.
Like these guys.
So the glow of the trailer is really very impressive and having a strangely yellow Optimus figure also looks all right.

Mega Construx He-Man things

I got 3, but I've only done one, so I'm gonna lump them all together.  I like the Megaconstrux as they've had a good variety of figures over the years.  Starting off as Mega Bloks and now called Construx, they are impossible to find in Japan.  They also have a bunch of He-man figures and these are my jam!

While I haven't assembled the big ones yet (Landshark and Rotor), just from checking the videos and how they manage to keep the action features of the originals, I know I'm gonna like them. Plus they have cute little He-man action figures, which is really, all I want.

Spoiler, they probably won't make toy of the year.

So that's my toy thoughts of the year.

Did ya like it?

Now for my 


Mafex Spider-Gwen

Bit of a tough one this year as I really like a LOT of what I got.  Rather a high quality year ya know, so this was extremely tough.  But old SpiderGwen here managed to sit on mhy desk and be my fiddle toy for at least half the year, so that's gotta tell you something.  The pose-ability is relaly good, she looks the part, has nice paint and sculpt and comes with little magnet hands and feet for sticking to metal stuff.  It's really cool

Honorable Mentions in no particular order go to:

Selects Galvatron,  just a really nice, solid toy that looks great.

Legacy Jhiaxus, a surprisingly good and character-filled robot with a ridiculous vehicle mode that kinda grows on you after while. It's so stupid.

Legacy Motormaster.  I'll tell ya the commander class toys are always top notch from my experience.  While the Menasor combination action is a tad controversial, there's no way you can't doubt the eventual soldiness of the final thing, and it's gonna look great.

Piss Magnus; What can I say, the glow just looks amazing.

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