I had some vague recollection of a TFCC Chromedome exclusive being announced as a repaint of some toy that was recommended to me, looked at the pictures and decided it looked far too odd and irrelevant so its memory was lost to history. Then I fell head over wallet in love with the TFPrime Wheeljack mould, so a BH Wheeljack, Dark Energon Wheeljack, Arms Micron Wheeljack, Arms Micron Wildrider and Prime Dead-End later, I realised one I had completely forgotten about, and it coincided with Chromedome's reduced panel time in More Than Meets The Eye, so I placed a pre-order with TFSource for this beauty. Not long after Chimungmung started sending out well-priced stolen Chromedomes and Stylors without mailer box or paperwork (and then slightly more expensive ones after they realised it was selling out too fast), I received notification that my official one had begun its journey.
Standard TFCC featureless mailer box, which like me if you have any attachment to Generation 1 variants, then you will absolutely love this style of packaging. I have grown so deeply fond of this mould over the last few months to the point where I class it as the best deluxe sculpt I have ever handled, and Chromedome is one of my favourite things about IDW and James Roberts's More Than Meets The Eye series, so seeing this astonishingly nice deco on this phenomenal toy described as "Mnemosurgeon" on the paperwork is heaven. All it needed was an "AKA Tumbler" to hit the G(eek)-spot. Sadly, anyone who bought via the unofficial route would have been denied that stunning artwork and nice nod to his IDW character. Also included are two completely uncharacteristic Chromedome swords and Stylor as the same Micron you get with AM Smokescreen. I don't even know if anyone pairs Chromedome with Stylor any more, surely we all feel that if it isn't Rewind, it's nobody?
By now most of us are fully aware of the merits of vehicle mode on this sculpt. Wheeljack, Wildrider and Dead End are so alluring in car mode, even Chromedome's unique red, beige and brown wrap themselves elegantly around this Lancia Stratos-a-like effortlessly. Some of the paint is sloppy on the rear lights and on certain borders, but in-hand he's quite marvellous, looking superb with all the rest. Joints are tight, none of the scary looseness evident in the Hasbro Beast Hunters Wheeljack, so mercifully there's no mould degradation of high order going on. My dream of seeing an official Drift, Rodimus or Sunstreaker out of this mould remain possible! Seriously, if they did a Megatron off this mould I'd buy it. My three oversized bootlegs of the deluxe mould and two oversized bootlegs of the Cyberverse toy in orange and white are evidence enough of this.
I admit to still being shocked at how well this mould lends itself to IDW Chromedome. A quite lovely headsculpt massively reminiscent of Nick Roche's design for Chromedome in MTMTE as well as those high shoulders and gangly arms give him an odd appearance, not as lean as he appears in the comics but with a little added bulk. The appreciation for just how good he looks in robot mode is something I won't forget, such was the impact of it on first transformation. This is a hugely successful and currently relevant exclusive repaint/remould and a fabulous example of how to do such things with imagination within the constraints and resources that the club have.
Keeping in mind what Chromedome is rather well known for in comic-reading circles now, here's my contribution to MTMTE #33 and the series as a whole:
I've seen the new Club Rewind and I've also seen the original Takara mould for that thing, I still firmly believe that the FOC Data Disc Rewind is the one I most wish to put with my Chromedome.
I don't think I've seen a better exclusive recently than Chromedome, and this is coming off a scintillating TFCC Barricade that left me almost speechless in its beauty. This, however, uses the best deluxe mould available (in my opinion), adds a killer head sculpt and takes a character who has been prominent in niche areas of the fiction over its history but lacking in such a quality toy and stamps "Definitive" on this release. I guess the only thing that will irk some is how he will not be perfectly in scale with the upcoming voyager Generations Brainstorm. But you know, some of us collected passionately for decades being able to overlook issues of obvious scale discrepancy because the toys themselves were individually so good. This is no different.
Here he is again, with those closest to him:
TFCC Chromedome. Intensely RIGHT.
All the best