Sunday, 3 April 2016

Prototype Watch: TakaraTomy Wins The Computron War

Big news folks, the long standing Technobot/Computron saga has seemingly come to a happy end, and perhaps I can stop writing about it. TakaraTomy did it again. Like the Constructicons, they have made a set that embarrasses the Hasbro version, in this case before even the official announcement of it. Coming mainly from TakaraTomy mouthpiece and toy designer TKYuki, we've had numerous looks at the grey prototypes, not the team in its entirety, but enough to declare a winner. In addition to new combiner bits, the limbs are different, the disappointing Brawl mould being replaced by a retool of Rook for Nosecone. We also have Blast Off retooled for Strafe, and Wheeljack for Lightspeed. This was subsequently reinforced by images of Scattorshot, Afterburner, and just yesterday, Lightspeed, in their robot modes, all having different accessories, and Scattorshot having a lot of decorative retooling. At time of writing, I'd be very interested to see how Strafe turns out, as those gun fists that make no sense for Blast Off, would be very suitable for Strafe's altmode. Hopefully, the kibble will pushed to the back, too.

I haven't seen a Western company get so badly shown up by an Eastern one since Sony announced the PS4 wouldn't have any limitations on used games. Going to Rook instead of Brawl for Nosecone is a selling point in itself. Its like replacing a wooden spoon with a gold medal. Then again, to be fair, the Hasbro version hasn't been actually announced yet. Its entirely possible that the changes evident in these prototypes may in some way be present in the Hasbro version, the previously Japanese exclusive deluxe Groove is getting a release now, but it would take a lot at this point to shift things. The Hasbro version does have Scrounge, an Air Raid retool, and probably a lower price point. It is however looking rather lazy in the comparison. A remix, rather than a new song, if you will. Why did TT go this far? Well, I didn't realise this, but the Technobots are a much bigger thing in the East than West, appearing significantly more in the cartoons. Seriously, look these guys up, their only claim to fame in Hasbro media is that Grimlock made them, and no post-G1 comic has really done anything with the characters. It seems Hasbro wanted to do them, but didn't want to spend too much given their relative obscurity. While I admit I strongly favour Hasbro in my Transformers purchases, this would be a situation were I would honestly prefer Japanese, and that hasn't happened in a real long time. 

The question is: will that Liokaiser rumour pan out? And what will TakaraTomy do to beat it?

Sources: TFW2005, TFYuki, and Snaka's Blog. Images copyright their respective owners, used under fair use provisions.

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