Event: 'Twas the Night Before...2015
'Twas the Night Before... Hasbro Event (2015)
On October 7, 2015 fan media gathered at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City for Hasbro's annual pre-New York Comic-Con reveal. Since Hasbro no longer maintains a booth at Comic-Con this event serves as their way to get the word out to fans and media about upcoming products for the year. This year was easily one of the biggest in terms of "Transformers" reveals! This year focused on two segements, the continuation of "Robots in Disguise" and the "Generations" sub-line known as "Titans Return" (aka "Titan Wars"). Here's a break down of what I saw during this awesome event. To get your own look, check out my album from the event!
"Generations" Titans Return
The current "Combiner Wars" segment will be continuing into Spring of 2016. After that, the "Generations" line will transition to "Titans Return", which had earlier been called "Titan Wars" at Botcon 2015. There were three tables of figures from this line, here's a rundown of each:
This table had Sky Reign, the combined form of Sky Lynx with the four upcoming Autobot limbs (including Smokescreen). Along with him was Skullcruncher (with Grax) and Nightbeat. Skullcruncher is a Deluxe Class figure with an amazing amount of detail. He comes with a blaster and tail weapon very much inspired by the G1 design. Grax transforms into his head and has knee and arm articulation. In beast mode, Skullcruncher has a cockpit in his back for Grax to sit in! Nightbeat is a Headmaster who comes with a small vehicle that seems to be inspired by the Drill Powerdasher from G1. Nightbeat can "pilot" this vehicle which in turn can transform into a weapon with a 5mm peg for larger figures. No word yet on whether Nightbeat will get a "proper" body.
It is interesting to note that the Hasbro team called all the Headmasters "Titan Masters", which they want to use as an all encompassing term for any type of 'Master figure in the line. For the sake of simplicity, I will continue to use the term "Headmaster" in this write up.
This table featured "Combiner Wars" Bruticus (with Shockwave attached), Voyager Class Galvatron, Deluxe Class Hardhead and Windblade from the SDCC set (she is not being re-released, she was just there because of her significance in the "Combiner Wars" story).
Voyager Class Galvatron is amazing. He looks like a perfect translation of the character from the movie to a more detailed and larger form that the character deserves. Galvatron transforms from his cannon mode to robot mode - but with a twist! This time out he is a Headmaster, partnered with "Nucleon". When you attach the head and open his chest panel, the "crown" swings up automatically over the head making for a dynamic transformation. Want another level of coolness? The Headmaster is designed to look like G1 Megatron. Don't read too much into this, it's more of a visual Easter Egg than anything else.
Hardhead is a thing of beauty. He looks just like the G1 character and toy - but choc full of more detail. His Headmaster is named Duros and he has a cockpit in vehicle mode. Even better? His large grey cannon has an additional cockpit to seat another Headmaster figure!
Table Three was perhaps the table with the most to offer (though the first two were pretty damn spectacular). This table featured Leader Class Blaster! It also featured several characters who transform into "Smartphones" (instead of cassettes) who could interact with Blaster as well as more Titanmaster (aka Headmaster) action. Accompanying these "Titans Return" figures was the Generation 2 themed Menasor figure in all its pastel glory.
Like his G1 counterpart, Blaster's chest pops open at the press of a button, but instead of cassettes, he now has "smartphones" that fit into his chest. The one included with the figure won't transform, but it can act as a vehicle for the smaller Headmaster figures. Other figures that can transform include Buzzsaw and Stripes (a relatively obscure Japanese character) who will transform from a smartphone to another mode (like a bird for Buzzsaw) and even vehicle forms (Stripes is technically a triple changer, going from smartphone to jet to beast). These figures will be sold at a "Legends" price point. I'm really excited about the possibilities here. Swap a few parts out and one that was a bird could be a flying Pterodactyl or a feline could be a canine! For those wondering, Rewind is indeed in my photos and he becomes a robot, smartphone and tank! He even has G1 inspired stickers on his back which look amazing. I would expect he will be given a new deco as Eject at some point down the line.
Blaster is an amazing piece of work. There's no other way to put it. Blaster is a Leader Class figure that transforms from a "boom box" to a robot and then a base! The Titanmaster/Headmaster figures all have small holes in their feet that connect to tiny pegs on Blaster in base mode. He features Micromaster-esque ramps that can actually connect to other bases released in the toy line. Indeed, one of his sticker details comes directly from a G1 Micromaster set!
In robot form, Blaster is a Headmaster. His Headmaster's name is Twincast (G1 reference FTW). While the Headmaster gimmick does still involve the Headmaster's head going into a slot, the head can turn side to side! You'd think that articulation would be sacrificed for the triple changing feature, but nope, Blaster features about 17 points of articulation (there could be more, I only got to do a quick count). The only "standard" point of articulation sacrificed is the waist.
It's easy to get lost in the awesomeness of the base and robot modes, but Blaster's "Boom Box" mode is a thing of beauty. It has big speakers on the sides, a "tape deck" in the center and a handle on top - all details inspired by the G1 version. There are some amazing small details on the back. If you look carefully, he has a port for headphones (which fit real headphones), a USB port and a power button! I love little details like this and Blaster does not disappoint.
Some of you might be wondering "Who is that purple and grey dude who looks kind of like Squeezeplay?". That is in fact a figure based on Squeezeplay but his name (due to trademark reasons) is now "Crash Bash". He will be sold at the same price point as Terri-Bull and Nightbeat, but instead of a vehicle the Headmaster connects to a beast with two beast modes!
A quick note on the Menasor - it looked amazing in person. I've seen photos of course, but seeing him there in all his purple, blue, yellow, red glory was so great. The G2 fan in me was completely tickled. I can't wait to get that set!
Robots in Disguise
"Robots in Disguise" will continue into a new season. While there hasn't been an official press release about it, the term "season two" was used more than once this evening, and the "Arctic" theme of many of the figures might hint at something in that season (not sure what). The most important reveal were new Warrior Class figures including Decepticons! The first year of "Robots in Disguise" figures were very much lacking in the "Decepticon" department, and now the designers have more than made up for it. Quillfire, Thunderhoof and Fracture were all newly revealed Warrior Class figures and Hasbro mentioned there were some figures not being shown there, so expect more Warrior Class figures coming our way!
I would like to extend my gratitude to Hasbro and Hunter PR for inviting me to this event. It's always great to talk to the minds behind these awesome toys and get to hang out with fellow fans. Remember fans, tomorrow is the "Generations" panel at New York Comic-Con and I will be there to cover it, so stay tuned for more "Transformers" news for what's coming in 2016!