Yes, there's more Animated, but there's also considerable variety. A trip to see Paul "The Spacebridge" Hitchens for a family day out would not be complete without a look through his Transformers stock, and with my new ambition to complete Transformers Animated, I knew I'd find some modern specimens in his reserves. I also used the opportunity to pick up things I'd looked at briefly on line, but couldn't resist in the flesh.
Having discovered that Transformers Animated Activators are sublime little figures with as much character as the larger toys, and often very enjoyable transformations, I took the opportunity to add Ratchet to my collection. Just before I left his stock room I saw something in the bottom of an unsorted tub which caught my eye. Turns out it was a KO Activators Bumblebee, like the ones sold in pound shops in the UK a few years back. The articulation is way more limited and they feel cheap, but it's another variation on the mould that looks good with the official releases. The hybrid regular/patrol hybrid colour scheme was what made it stand out. If it wasn't for Dan Ghile showing me these KOs a week earlier, I'd never have known what I was looking at.
Discovering the genius of Animated Lockdown, then really liking the portrayal of the bounty hunter in Age of Extinction (one of the few things I did come away impressed with), I guess the Revenge Of The Fallen Lockdown kinda counts as a halfway house between Animated and AoE? Anyway, I have been on a Lockdown drive (deluxes, Takara versions, Activators) so I looked at this a lot before picking him up in person with the above. I wasn't disappointed, both modes are glorious - and while the transformation isn't nearly as enjoyable as Animated Lockdown's, the posability and quality of each mode's presentation puts this very close to the absolute top of the deluxe TF pile. That neck is astonishing and he looks like a proper menace. More on this figure tomorrow.
I already own this toy, the voyager Animated Bulkhead, but the shiny trophy green Takara Tomy version. This is so astonishingly different in show accurate Hasbro colours - and remarkably, better put together and functioning - that it might as well be a different toy. It was so different in person that I had to take it off Paul. This is one occasion where Hasbro trumps Takara with ease, a lovely voyager. Show accurate headlight arrangement too!
This purchase can be squarely blamed on Age of Extinction fever - or hype - and my recent discussions with UK collectors about how much we love the Human Alliance line. This Dark Of The Moon Human Alliance Skids was bought loose with no Elita-1 or human companion, a few scratches here and there, but that stellar vehicle mould sold it. Lovely paint job too, fun transformation to robot mode and once you get hold of the tricks needed to switch it back, a great transformer, well in line with the other luminaries from this category. it's just a shame Skids himself is so unforgivably hideous. But hey, that's what he looked like so it's accurate enough, if you don't think too much about the inverted colour scheme. Apparently he was on screen in DOTM in these colours for a nanosecond.
All in all, a very fun and varied haul of toys that for once did not come from the blasted Internet, and were sold on the strength of a trusted dealer's (justified) recommendation and in-the-flesh impressions. Like the good old days. And you know what? They were some of the most satisfying purchases I've made in recent memory.
All the best