Sunday, 31 August 2014

Review: Fans Toys Scoria (Transformers Masterpiece Slag)

The first of my reviews falling under the category 'stuff I bought from Auto Assembly' is Scoria, the 3rd Party release of Masterpiece-scale Slag.

Slag was at the top of my AA Wish List and, only being available from Kapow Toys in the UK, was probably only going to be on sale on one particular stall. Of course Kapow had the biggest crowd around it, so at first I was a sad little boy as it didn't appear that there were any available. But, no! I was wrong! As on a second pass on the stall I spotted him and was much relieved.

The relief was short-lived.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Transformers 1-page comic #3

The third (and final) comic. Grimlock SMASH!

(I know, I know, Grimlock's 'wings' are missing, but they were getting in the way!)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Transformers 1-page comic #2

Being relatively happy with my first go, I've done another one-pager. Whereas the previous one didn't require any Transformers knowledge to understand it (though it makes more sense if you do), for this one you kinda have to know that Pretenders (Transformers in human/animal shells - a gimmick which makes sense to...well, someone working at Hasbro thought it was a brilliant idea) aren't universally liked. Mostly because the gimmick makes absolutely no sense.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Transformers 1-page comic #1

Last week, for the first time in ages, I picked up a pencil and tried to draw something. I was horrified with the level of terribleness. The next day I had another go and was a little more pleased with the results.

Transformers: Mosaic was a series of (mostly) fan produced 1-page comics created between 2007 and 2012 and it was in that vein that I made the following. I found it surprisingly hard to think up something - other than a joke - that began and ended within the space of a page, though ideas followed a little more easily once I got into the mindset.

Anyway, here's my attempt. It's not great, but hey! you ought to see the rubbish I produced on that first night...

Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Auto Assembly 2014

Auto Assembly, Europe's largest Transformers convention, is over for another year and I have, more or less, now recovered. Adjusting to back to life outside after being, essentially, trapped inside a hotel for 3 days is a little weird. For that brief time you're trapped inside a little bubble, free of the troubles of Reality, where only the next talk, toy purchase, or chatting to some person you've never met before is of any concern.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Review: Transformers Age of Extinction: Generations Voyager Grimlock

Here on the blog, I'm not afraid to call a crappy toy a crappy toy. Who fails to remember the total monstrosity that was the TP table? It'd be very easy to have a similar rant about the Bayformers, but I think all that needs to be said about those abominations has been said many times before. So instead I'll have a rant about the Grimlock figure.

In response to the numerous complaints about previous movie figures being a complete nightmare to transform even if you hold a PhD in Transforming from the University of Cybertron, for the latest movie, Age of Extinction, Hasbro have greatly simplified their toys. I repeat, greatly simplified. These are the Transformers you'll find on every toy shop and supermarket shelf across the country.

In addition, to appeal to the adult/older Transformer fan, Hasbro have released a limited number of more complex figures in the Generations line. These are packaged identically to the 'normal' lines which makes them a tad difficult to spot on a shop shelf.

I guess we should count ourselves lucky, really, that we're getting any Generations figures at all in the UK. They're Toys R Us exclusives, in part because Toys R Us are the only ones who'll stock them. I say we should count ourselves lucky, but the Grimlock figure is really rather terrible.

My big mistake, I suppose was buying Scorn first. Despite being a Bayformer design, I really like Scorn. He's a lot like an old school Transformer. Next I bought Slug (definitely not Slag). Slug is, well, he's pretty good. Not Scorn good, but I still like him.

Finally I got Grimlock...

Oh dear.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Auto Assembly 2014

It's a Rule, apparently, for all attendees to do a pre-Auto Assembly video. Well, not a Rule, perhaps more a Tradition, or... a Thing. Yes, it's a Thing some people do before going to AA; telling people of their hopes for the event and giving out a few tips to newbies (which essentially boil down to 'wear deodorant').

Since a) my camera is currently 100 miles away, and b) no one really wants to look at my face or listen to my droning voice, I'll do it in the medium of text.

So firstly here are a few things I learnt from attending AA last year: don't get there too early; the NEC doesn't close at night so you don't need to time how long it takes to walk all the way round (for train purposes); and no matter how cool a toy is, you don't necessarily need to buy it.

I'm still working on that last one.

This year, to liven things up a little, my lovely wife will be coming along. I'm not quite sure why, but it may have something to do with her not wanting to spend another weekend all on her own (a la last weekend). This has its advantages since I'll no longer look like a Billy No Mates and thus won't have to attempt to join in conversations with complete strangers. On the other hand, purchases are now going to be closely monitored. No more 'it only cost a fiver!' excuses. I'll also have to, annoyingly, spend some of my (our?) budget on food instead of figuring meals are an easy expense I can skip when scrounging money for my next plastic fix.

Quite what Mrs J is going to think of the whole affair, I do not know. I should probably get her to write a review afterwards which you, the humble reader, can have fun compare and contrasting with mine.

Last year I went along to AA with a list of essential purchases. I bought hardly any of them. Instead I bought a load of GoBots and New Adventures of He-Man stuff. Which were pretty awesome, though isn't everything? This year I also have a list, though it's rather extensive and there isn't a hope in hell I'll be able to get even a fraction of it. Plus, you know, The Wife.

My biggest hope for this year is that the Saturday evening event doesn't suffer a Cable Crisis similar to last year, which meant a lot of time spent sitting about waiting and constantly checking the ol' watch to ensure I didn't miss the last train home.

AA is this weekend in Birmingham. If you like Transformers and have nothing better to do, it's well worth popping along. And of course if you don't like giant robots, there's always Quilt Con in the NEC.

Review: Game of Thrones Legacy: The Hound

Everyone watches Game of Thrones, right? I mean, if you add together all those who watch on TV and those who buy the DVD and those who...acquire it...though other means, you more than cover the entire population of the planet, right?

What I'm basically saying is that no introduction to The Hound is necessary, so we can skip straight to the figure itself.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: Dennis the Menace the game

Every Christmas, when I was small, I received a board game from Santa(/my parents). There are three stand-out classics from that time: one I've reviewed before, one shall feature as soon as I've found it in the loft and this one: the Dennis the Menace game.