Aid in the Shade

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“They call me Dr. Worm”

Medic! Medic!!

That’s what I found myself crying out as I entered the toy shop, and Kylie Minogue was nowhere to be found.

I was on the hunt for Combiner Wars First Aid, you see.  And what a hunt it turned out to be – for three weeks, I went back and forth between every shop that stocked Transformers. Yet I never found them there. How, in the 21st century, we end up with identical chain stores like Tesco, Asda and Toys R Us each having different products on the shelves, I don’t know. It’s absurd – some stores have them, some don’t. It’s pot luck. Continue reading

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Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus Review

You wait thirty years for a new Ultra Magnus toy, and then two come along at once. It’s Ultra Madness, I tells ya! [Fired. – Adam]

If you ask us, it’s IDW comics who can take most of the credit for the boost in Maggie’s popularity. In their re-imagined Transformers universe, Ultra Magnus is a costumed character played by many different people over the years to carry on the legacy of an indestructible lawman. Kind of like when your class hamster died and the teacher replaced it with an identical-looking one on the sly.

“Sniffles, NOOOO!”

It’s this modern version of the character Hasbro have delivered in the new Combiner Wars line of toys, in lieu of bringing over the expensive – and retro-tastic – Masterpiece figure released in Japan earlier this year. As such, the diminutive Minimus Ambus – the ‘real’ Transformer at the heart of the Magnus armour – is included in the box.

Continue reading

Combiner Wars Megatron Review

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I gotta say, I wasn’t looking forward to this one. We haven’t had a decent Megatron toy in years, and when I heard we’d be getting a ‘leader class’ toy my heart went all aflutter with excitement. Then Hasbro showed photographs and my heart sank faster than Lisa Riley doing a Mary Poppins impression. They really should fire their photo guy – they looked atrocious.

I’m pleased to say that Megatron looks much better in real life. I got quite over-excited and tore him out of his box in the Toys R Us car park. He oozes quality which, in comparison to other toys released this past year, is really saying something. He’s solid and heavy, his joints are stiff and move into place with a satisfying ‘click’, and every part is screwed, pinned and held in place securely.

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I was quite surprised to see that Megatron was very well painted, too. Again, this is in stark contrast to his contemporaries.

The toy also sports a few nice features that you don’t see everyday; he has light-piped eyes for that menacing look, real rubber tank treads that actually roll, and extra weapons and stickers. I wasted no time in branding Megatron an Autobot.

In robot mode, he’s tall and imposing. He can strike any number of dynamic poses, and he’s well balanced enough to hold them steadily. The only point of contention is that his ankles don’t rotate downwards past 90 degrees. A shame, if you intended to act out your giant robot ballet fantasies.

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“No, no Brainstorm. You have to put it on your face or your tummy. It’s policy.”

He’s certainly the best-looking Megatron toy we’ve had in… well… ever. He fits in with toys from any other series, and looks pretty good fighting against your Masterpiece Prime. For me, it feels like the character finally got the toy he deserved, because let’s face it, the only thing the original Megatron toy was good for was robbing a bank or mugging off Grandma.

THIS DIDN'T GO TO PLAN

THIS DIDN’T GO TO PLAN

He transforms into a fantastic tank – it actually looks like a real thing instead of the crummy futuristic “H-tanks” that Hasbro churns out ten times a year. The transformation is quick and intuitive, and manages to surprise even a jaded Transformer fan like me. I liked the way his shins pointlessly slide up his legs when you move his feet into position, and his gun barrel doubles in length to sit between his arms that form the top part of the tank. The whole assembly is on a really cool 360 degree swivel, allowing it to turn in all directions.

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“Sorry, Megs. They won’t let you turn into a gun anymore. Too violent. Be a TANK instead. Tanks never hurt anyone.”

TMW Rating:- 4/5 – The best Megatron toy we’ve had in decades, and a high point for the Combiner Wars line. He’s also available in special “Armada” flavour (I suppose that’s retro now). Best cross your fingers before heading out to the toy shop, as Toys R Us only had one of each. Megatron misses out on the coveted 5/5 because his giant cannon is on a gimpy hinge that makes it a bit tricky to position his arm sometimes.

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“Look, real rubber”