Saturday, January 31, 2015

すすめ!オクトノーツ2015!: the Octonauts 2015! New Toys From Fisher-Price.

It's been awhile since my last look in on the Octonauts line of toys from Fisher-Price. Last time around I went over all the new releases hitting mid to late 2014. Many of the those releases I wanted to buy for myself, a few  have yet to see in retail stores. Sadly, money was kinda tight and the Octonauts toys were cut from the priorities list. Broke my heart to have to leave such cool toys sitting on store shelves. But I have some good news on that end, as well as a look at some new toys hitting here in 2015!

One of the toys I really wanted in 2014 was the Midnight Zone inspired Launch & Explore Octo Lab playset. I really loved the bright neon day glow colors they used for that set, and the whole Midnight Zone themed toys. Because I already had the original Octo Pod set, I didn't know if I should really get another large sized Octonauts item, space is an issue. Maybe more of an issue than space is money, and as I said Octonauts got cut from my toy buying list for the time being. The Launch & Explore Octo Lab was priced at about $36-$40 depending on where you shop. That kind of money for a current toy can fetch me a few vintage items, so with just the price I was able to pass.

About 3 weeks back I was in a Meijer store picking up for food for the weekend, and as always I popped into the toy section. I noticed that Meijer had put this set on clearance for $28, tagged as the Octo Pod. I wondered if they had mistakenly used the same SKU for both the old and new set, Target does this all the time.  Still at $28 I was able to pass it up, but just last week it dropped again, now to $18. It was getting harder and harder to pass this toy up, at 50% off I was being stupid in not buying it. Last night my wife had a coupon for 10% any general merchandise at Meijer, I though it could mean an extra $1.80 of the Octo Lab, awesome! I go to Meijer, we needed Super Bowl snacks anyhow, and misplaced in another aisle in one last Octo Lab. Still priced at $18, but...Meijer has a sale on clearance toys, taking an extra 50% off. Now with a tagged price of $18, and extra 50% off, and our coupon for 10% off I got the Octo Lab for $8.30!

Octonauts Launch & Explore Octo Lab playset Barnacles Shellington new オクトノーツ キャプテン・バーナクルズ ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel


Alright, onto the new stuff coming our way. The first releases of 2015 feature of course Barnacles, Kwazii, and in a bit of a surprise, Tweak. I saw it's a surprise because they have typically used Shellington or Peso, and regulated Tweak and Dashi to the background. I was super excited to see both used more last year and seeing a new Tweak in 2015 is great. In fact there will be 2 new Tweak figures, 2 of Barnacles as well as 2 Kwaziis. Strange that we will see 6 new releases featuring only 3 characters.


Octonauts Barnacles Suit Tweak Scooter Kwazii Volcano figures 2015 new オクトノーツ キャプテン・バーナクルズ ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel

Octonauts Barnacles’ Suction Suit, Tweak’s Sea Scooter and Kwazii & the Volcano Rescue figure sets
These new figure packs are great. Again, nice lively colors, and some new sculpts, also just great to get Tweak outside of a larger set. The Kwazii set will probably be one of the larger figure and accessory sets.

Octonauts Barnacles 2015 toys オクトノーツ キャプテン・バーナクルズ ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the OctonautsOctonauts Tweaks 2015 toys オクトノーツ トゥイーク ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the Octonauts

Octonauts Kwazii 2015 toys オクトノーツ クワジー トゥイーク ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the Octonauts


Octonauts Talking Tiger Shark Gup-B and Talking Ice Breaker Gup-C
The Gup-B is a smaller vehicle set with a fun tiger stripe pattern and featuring Kwazii. The Gup-C is shaped like a whale and comes with a unique arctic Tweak figure.

Octonauts Kwazii 2015 toys オクトノーツ クワジー トゥイーク ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the OctonautsOctonauts Tweaks 2015 toys オクトノーツ トゥイーク ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the Octonauts


Octonauts Gup-H with Barnacles
And of course the Captain needs a new ride, and this year he'll get a new helicopter. The Pilot Barnacles figure is quite cute too.

Octonauts Gup-H Barnacles 2015 toys オクトノーツ キャプテン・バーナクルズ ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the Octonauts

The talking feature and the Gup B & C should also prove to be fun and popular for kids. Each set vehicle above also comes with a sea-life companion and has working action gimmicks. So with even just a few items announced so far for the Octonauts line in 2015, things are looking really good!

Octonauts Gup-H Ice Breaker Gup-C Tweak Barnacles 2015 toys オクトノーツ キャプテン・バーナクルズ ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the Octonauts




2015 new toys new the Octonauts Tweak Octopod Kwazii Barnacles オクトノーツ キャプテン・バーナクルズ クワジー トゥイーク インクリング ターニップ ディズニー Fisher-Price mattel the Octonauts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Conceptobots & Drafticons - Ark Playset, MiniBots and Studio OX designs.


This C&D post will finish up collecting the rest of the material originally post on the GS Facebook page. We cover a few prototype Transformers designs, and a look at thumbnails and preliminary layout art from famed art collective Studio OX.

Transformers G1 Ark/Mountain base play set design (Unproduced)
Maybe cooler looking seeing it as something unproduced, but may not have really worked as a great toy with all the size classes of the '84-85 G1 Transformers. Features Teletraan 1, computer consoles, cannon bays, and even a Sky Spy gimmick.

Ark G1 Transformers prototypes robots トランスフォーマー タカラ hasbro


Transformers G1 MiniBot prototype mock up and design sketches
Here's a look at design sketches for 1985 Minis Cosmos and Seaspray, as well as a mock up toy of the 1986 Pipes figure done in a red instead of final production blue.

Cosmos Minibots Mini Cars G1 1985 Transformers prototypes robots ミクロマン トランスフォーマー タカラ hasbroSeaspray Minibots Mini Cars G1 1985 Transformers prototypes robots ミクロマン トランスフォーマー タカラ hasbro

Pipes Minibots Mini Cars G1 1985 Transformers prototypes robots ミクロマン トランスフォーマー タカラ hasbro


Studio OX Transformers design and layout sketch art
A few bits of early process studio OX works. Here's a look at Convoy, Galavatron, Trypticon,Bruticus and Ironhide. A shot here of Arcee with long flowing hair, a detail design sketch for Galvatron's gun (toy accurate gun actually) and an early Destrons attack on rocket base page layout thumbnail sketch.

Optimus Prime Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラ

Galvatron Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラBruticus Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラ

Decepticons Megatron Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラIronhide Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラ

Galvatron Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラ

Trypticon Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラArcee アーシー Studio OX Transformers design sketch art スタジオOX トランスフォーマー タカラ



hasbro Transformers Japanese Robots prototypes toys Transformers トランスフォーマー タカラ

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Lost Updates Of 2014. (Imaginext, Tomy RATS, Kre-O and Cereals?)

Whether it was internet outages, work schedule or just too many proposed updates, I lost track of a few entries I had planned to make in 2014. Most of the missing posts were about (then) recent toy purchases. In order to get them out there, I figure I can just bundle them all up in a single post here.

Bane penquin dc comics Fisher price Super Friends Batman Toys R Us imaginext イマジネックスト アメコミ

Imaginext Toys R Us exclusives: 
It was another big year for Imaginext collecting in 2014. I picked up a good amount of what I was looking for. Some things are still alluding me, but hopefully not for long. A few of the items I snatched up were recolors sold under the Toys R Us exclusive Gotham City line. TRU had mostly re-colors this year, almost all the unique sculpts went to Target, but that doesn't diminish their offerings at all. A single pack of the Bane figure a brought about the cheapest way to get him. Prior to this release, you'd have to spend around $25-$35 in order to get one. I rally liked that they repainted the bubble-drill accessory in red and black, very evil looking.

Toys R Us also got a newly colored Penguin figure. The coloring came as a delightful surprise to many of us older Imaginext DC Super Friends collectors. He was released in retro comic colors which also match his 80's Kenner Super Powers figure. A very cool nod to the past, when a lot of the time Fisher-Price uses the same figures in multiple releases.

Just to note, the Transformers Kre-O Hound in the picture was a toy I was hoping to get since it had been announced. For whatever reasons, and I haven't rally looked into it, I never saw the 2nd series Custom Kreons anywhere around me. I ended up just buying it off ebay. Glad I did too, it's a neat figure.

Speaking of Kre-O....


Starscream Decepticon g.i.joe Kre-O Transformers トランスフォーマー Kre O KreonsStarscream Decepticon g.i.joe Kre-O Transformers トランスフォーマー Kre O Kreons

Transformers Kre-O:
I held off on getting into Kre-O for a good amount of time. But in 2014 with an avalanche of cool toys bearing down I just got swept away. I really jumped right into the line, and sadly, just when it seems to be fading away. I found the Custom Kreon series 1 Starscream just after Christmas, very glad to find it. The set only includes 1 head, 1 pair of hands and 1 pelvis, but by borrowing some bits from another figure you can make 2 distinct figures out of each Custom Kreon set, and then within that many different variations of them. I prefer this Starscream to the original Starscream Kreon, the color are just a lot more bold.

Decepticon Jets Skywarp Sunstorm Kre-O Transformers トランスフォーマー Kre O KreonsMiniBots Huffer Brawn Bumblebee Kre-O Transformers トランスフォーマー Kre O Kreons

While I am not into the Transformers Kre-O quite as heavily as the G.I.Joe series, I am having fun with it. I am trying to grab what Decepticons jets I can, while not doing so with any priority. If I see it fine, however I am not actively looking, if that makes sense. I know there's still a few out there. I am playing around with getting the remaining MiniBot Kreons as well. I at least want to buy the San Diego ComicCon Huffer since I missed out on buying the whole giftset last year.

g.i.joe Kre-O Cobra Eel B.A.T. Viper army builder Kre O Kreons

G.I.Joe Kre-O: 
Oh how I tried to not get trapped by your charm. Okay, I didn't try too hard since I did start buying a few early in 2014, but that's the collectors fatal mistake, buy one you might end up buying them all. And right now, I am near having them all. Except the really expensive highly sought after ones, which are not going to be coming my way any time soon I sense. I don't have the cash to blow $75 on a set of convention exclusive Kreons. Nor do I really want to spend that kind of money on them.

Slaughter Steelgrave Bolar 1984 Tomy robot 1985 RATS Starriors Tomy ゾイド トミーBolar 1984 Tomy robot 1985 RATS Starriors Tomy ゾイド トミー

Tomy R.A.T.S./Starriors:
I would say 2014was also a good year for my Starriors collecting. Actually seeing that I have only been collecting Starriors for about 3 years, 2012, and 2013 were also really good years for them. However, last year I was able to get 3 elusive European R.A.T.S. toys, Starriors re-colors sold in 1985.

1984 Tomy robot 1985 RATS Starriors Tomy ゾイド トミー1984 Tomy robot 1985 RATS Starriors Tomy ゾイド トミー

The 3 figures I wanted came in a lot with some toys I already had. The Grapplor toy was the 3rd of this style I got, this one being sealed in box. I also got 2 more series 1, or early release R.A.T.S. figures moc, but both being duplicates of toys I have in my collection already. I don't think there's even much of a market for these, so I figure they'll just sit in my closet for now.

FrankenBerry BooBerry Count Chocula monster cereals dc comics Jim LeeFrankenBerry BooBerry Count Chocula monster cereals dc comics Jim Lee

General Mills Monster Cereals:
No, not toys, but still something I collect, well the boxes more than the cereal. I eat the cereal. I eagerly await the coming of Halloween just so I can pick up a few boxes of these cereals to eat. Last year was a bit of a treat as they also released Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, but not this year. A couple package variant hit stores this year, the basic current designs, a retro style, and these boxes shown above. A very cool new looking Franken Berry box caught my eye, well they all looked cool but that one in particular really got to me. I picked up all 3 and put them in my pantry. It was till I had finished off the cereal and put the empty boxes in my bedroom to be placed in storage that I noticed a DC Comics logo. After a closer look I found that the box art was in fact done by DC. Boo Berry was done by Jim Lee, Cunt Chocula by the Dodsons, and Fraken Berry by Dave Johnson. It made all the more sense why the Franken Berry box art appealed to me, I've been a fan of Dave Johnson's art for years. So a cool, and fresh take on the monster cereal characters in 2014.



1984 Tomy robot, 1984, 1985, dc comics, g.i.joe, imaginext, Kre-O, RATS, Starriors, Tomy, Transformers, イマジネックスト, アメコミ, トランスフォーマー

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Avengers Iron Man, Made With Trans...er...Diaclone Technology?

Back a few years ago at the tail end of the Hasbro "Let's Make Everything Transformers" marketing plan, a set of 3 Transformerized Marvel super hero toys came out in conjunction with the Avengers movie. This wasn't the first try at it, but it may have been the least successful.

In previous attempts to meld Transformers with any other brand Hasbro created robotic versions of various characters that could then be re-configured into some vehicle of sorts that also came from their respective brands. I'll admit these took some effort on Hasbro and likely in all cases, Takara design staffers to make. I never really liked them though. Hasbro's 2012 take on mixing Transformers with other brands took a bit of a different path. With both Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers getting movie, Hasbro tied into each brand a new sub set of figures, the Flip and Attack series. Spider-Man got 4 releases while Avengers got just 3. I only bought 1, the one which looked the best IMHO, the Flip and Attack Iron Man Quinjet.

Iron Man Takara comics Diaclone Hasbro Japanese Robots Marvel Transformers ローボット トランスフォーマー ダイアクロン アメコミIron Man Takara comics Diaclone Hasbro Japanese Robots Marvel Transformers ローボット トランスフォーマー ダイアクロン アメコミ

 Of the designs, the 3 Avengers toys were better than the 4 Spider-Man, and the Iron Man blended with the Transformers aesthetic better than any of them. The fact that Iron Man actually turns into a Quinjet is really cool. He's the only one of the Marvel Flip and Attack figures that resembles an actual Marvel vehicle in any way. Now you are going to read conflicting views within this posting. I like and loathe what Hasbro did here with the Flip and Attack series. Let's start with this:

Iron Man Takara comics Diaclone Hasbro Japanese Robots Marvel Transformers ローボット トランスフォーマー ダイアクロン アメコミ

Never let it be said Hasbro shy's away from taking credit for what they didn't do.The problem I have here is that this isn't made with Transformers Technology, even though it may have appeared in Transformers. The engineering in works in these Flip and Attack toys dates back to Takara's Diaclone toy line, which Hasbro only paid a licensing fee to use, they had no hand in creating those toys. I get that putting "with DIACLONE Technology" would have have been lost on even a good chunk of Transformers fans, but saying it's from Transformers just doesn't sit well with me either. Overall, a minor and stupid nit-picky bit on my part.

Iron Man Takara comics Diaclone Hasbro Japanese Robots Marvel Transformers ローボット トランスフォーマー ダイアクロン アメコミIron Man Takara comics Diaclone Hasbro Japanese Robots Marvel Transformers ローボット トランスフォーマー ダイアクロン アメコミ

For anybody who likes the Diaclone Attack Robos (yes!) or loves the Transformers Jumpstarters (yes again!), these will likely also make you happy. They are basically the same thing. Where this Iron Man toy rises above the other Hasbro Flip and Attack toys is in the design of the Marvel character as a robot. The others try to mesh organic bits within robotic edges and they just come out poorly. The action works well, as well as the quick transform flip change ever worked I guess (it's not 100%). These new Flip and Attacks don't have fiddly bits added, and no weapons, so they are really great for younger kids. They were marked 4 years old and up, but I think even my 3 year old nephew would have no problems with this toy. And going by the reviews off Amazon, kid's really enjoyed these.

Iron Man Takara comics Diaclone Hasbro Japanese Robots Marvel Transformers ローボット トランスフォーマー ダイアクロン アメコミ

For collectors I would say pass on these, unless you're a Jumpstarters junkie, then have it 'em. These toys were retailed at about $10 a piece, I paid $5 at Five Below and still felt like I was overpaying. I don't think I could have seen myself blowing $70 on the set of 7 Marvel Flip and Attacks, never mind the $50-$60 some people are asking for each one on some sites. If you can get a loose lot for about $20-$25 I think you've got a deal. I think they're great toys for kids, a slight nostalgia kick for older collectors, but priced higher than they should have been, and executed with designs that probably could have used some more tweaking.



Takara comics Diaclone Hasbro Japanese Robots Marvel Transformers ローボット トランスフォーマー ダイアクロン アメコミ,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Imaginext DC Super Friends 2015 Expansion.

With word coming last year from Mattel/Fisher-Price themselves about just how well the Imaginext brand is doing at retail, and that a good amount of expansion was being planned for 2015. We got a taste of that late last year with news of a new Riddler Roadster, Penguin Copter and Hall of Doom, and now we have another few new items to look forward to

Fisher-Price Imaginext new 2015 Batman super friends dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext Super Powers アメコミ イマジネックスト バットマンFisher-Price Imaginext new 2015 Batman super friends dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext Super Powers アメコミ イマジネックスト バットマン

Heat Blast Batman
This more than any of the other Batman re-colored figures reminds me of the old early 90's Kenner figures. I loved the crazy environment suited Batman toys, the arctic Bats, the scuba Bats in bright garish yellow. I haven't gotten every Batman recolor they've made but this is an absolute must. I love that the heat shielding is removable.

Fisher-Price Imaginext Captain Cold super friends dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext Super Powers アメコミ イマジネックスト バットマン
Captain Cold
Another Flash villain. There's been many Batman and Superman villains, so few for other guys. Flash has Grodd to fight, but you would think that a Professor Zoom/Reverse Flash would have been made by now at least, so it's really nice to see Cold here. Word is he is already showing up in some stores. Gotta get out there and start looking.

Fisher-Price Imaginext Solomon Grundy super friends dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext Super Powers アメコミ イマジネックスト バットマン
Solomon Grundy
Grundy is going to likely be an over sized figure like Clayface and Grodd. With this release and the Captain Cold we get so much closer to a complete Legion of Doom set of figures. Hopefully the last four members, Sinestro, Giganta, Toyman and Cheetah will see release soon. Toy Fair is just weeks away, so let's hope.



batman comics dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext Super Powers アメコミ イマジネックスト バットマン

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Conceptobots & Drafticons - Diaclone Dinosaurs, Jets and Cars.


The last little update featured Microman, so let's turn it over to Diaclone this time around. Here's a look at the prototype mock up toy of the Tyrannosaurus Dinosaur Robo. Like many of the early proto promo shots, this is a photo of the mockup that has been airbrushed with extra details to bring it to life. Interesting to see such a  different head on the figure, kinda cool.

ダイアクロン カーロット ジェットロボ Diaclone Transformers prototypes robots トランスフォーマー タカラ hasbro

Next is another mock up proto, this one is the Acrobat Type Jet Robo. A little bland, very soft edges here, and leg rotation. This is a Diaclone toy I have never owned, a shame cause they are very cool. I guess I had enough of them as Transformers that I just didn't need more.

ダイアクロン ジェットロボ Diaclone Transformers prototypes robots トランスフォーマー タカラ hasbro

To round out this post a pic stolen from my Facebook page, early prototype toy of the Car Robots sub-line, the OneBox Cherry Vanette. A few alternate features here, flip out headlights, antennae,  nothing missed on the retail toy of course, but neat to see.

ダイアクロン カーロット Diaclone Transformers prototypes robots トランスフォーマー タカラ hasbro



ダイアクロン Diaclone hasbro ダイアクロン カーロット ジェットロボ Transformers Japanese Robots prototypes toys Transformers トランスフォーマー タカラ