IMO, this is the worst year on record for TFs. Lots of overpriced, yet sub-quality toys released.
For worst transformer, I'd nominate the entire cybverse commanders line. Hugely overpriced for what little you get. Legends at a close second.
I don't have enough sampling to qualify an opinion on best, but none of the ones I have deserve to be anything better than "mediocre."
I'm not even letting my distaste for Prime of FoC taint my opinions. A good toy is a good toy, a bad toy is a bad toy, and one with piss-poor quality and engineering is one with piss poor quality and engineering. For instance, I don't like movieverse, and I HAAAAAATE Starscream's design. Hated all toys of him, until the DotM deluxe, which I got Thundercracker and I love the mold. Adore it, dispite hating the asthetic. I believe I've always been fair with my judgment over the toys, reguardless of how much I love or hate the fiction/asthetics.
EDIT: Mad props to NYCC Bumblebee, though. Dispite being a bad mold, loving the taxi-cab deco. Repurposed him as Overcharge.
Well I can't answer in all the categories. I don't think I've purchooseled all that many TFs this year actually.
Best TF this year: Green Giant. Awesome. Dream come true. And he's a pretty darn good Third Party toy at that. Plastic's good. Design is very good. And just to have a 'Classics' Devastator of decent size compared to my other Classics/Generations figures is, as I say, a dream come true.
Worth a mention: Hegemon Megatron. The Third Party G1ick Megatron. Plastic and design are clearly and obviously not as good as Green Giant. But in robot mode, when displayed right, he's looks fantastic!
Best Delux: Generations Warpath. Finally picked one up, and I'm so glad I did! What a fantastic 'Classics' upgrade to a classical G1 toy. Marvelous stuff.
So a slim year for me TF wise, but a collection-changing one nevertheless!
Roll on Masterpiece Soundwave.
I was the one who let you know, I was your sorry ever after, '84, '85. Give me new toys and I'll decide, but I'm really only after, '84, '85.
This is tough, so many good microns. I absolutely love this play pattern and I hope Takara can continue it in some form.
I will go for AMW-06 Jiro, the red cat, for character, but he is in a lot of good company.
Haven't bought one, was faintly tempted by Marlboor Wheeljack.
Ironhide, by a long way - really great toy, hasn't left my desk since purchase. A favourite of recent years.
Haven't bought one, but I like the look of the Bumblebee battle suit.
It's between PRID Arcee and AM Vehicon. Both have great character and decent posability and Vehicon in particular features some remarkable engineering.
I'm going to call it a tie.
Honourable mentions to BotCon Kick-Off and Spinister, the former especially. Oh, and I guess Stepper was released this year?
I guess AM Swerve by default as he's the only one I bought, but he's not my favourite voyager ever. Would have preferred Breakdown but missed the boat.
I probably would have got Magnus if he'd turned up over here, he does look rather good.
Kreon Kreo Set
United EX Tank-Master vs Malin-Master is a phenomenal set. Heavy Tread was a favourite of mine, but the added purple and Decepticon stylings work wonders on an already great mould. Similarly nice work on the Undertow mould to make an Autobot.
Cyberverse Ultra Magnus; like him in principle and he looked great in-package, but a horrible floppy mess in person.
I have to say, I disagree on it being such a terrible year. What I experienced of the PRID line, largely through the AM releases, was very good indeed. Even the Bumblebee mould is a nice, fun toy which took me by surprise seeing as I ordered it just to have something in the first wave of AMs.
Takara did a lovely job on their PCC releases through United EX, and MP Sideswipe really looks the part whatever a lot of fandom may think of his worthiness of such a release.
Botshots are quite a neat little line as well, though I am content to stick with just the Jetfire, Powerglide and Acid Storm 3-pack.
Even if I'd already given up the toy collecting at the start of the year, 2012 would go down as a favourite for the quality of the comics and the continued brilliance of the UK Classics collections (even if those stories do deserve higher quality, larger sized reproduction).
I'm not planning on getting anything in 2013, existing preorders aside, unless something really exceptional comes up - MP Skids? An IDW-styled Prowl? - but I'm happy with 2012 and I even managed to knock a few holy grails on the head in the last months. Can hardly complain when I won two competitions as well, bagging BotCon Cheetor, Chromia and Leozack from the club and a piece of original art by Hidetsugu Yoshioka from e-hobby. Quite happy to be a fan right now.
Not been a bad year for me, it feels like I have bought less this year, but have accumulated quite a lot of Prime and Kreo both of which I've generally enjoyed. Maybe its just that most of my buying came at conventions so most of the year has been light on purchases until the last few weeks.
Arms Micron The only one I have have is the one that came with Breakdown, I have not built it, but it still wins by default. Bot Shot I think I just have whatever I happened to get given at Botcon. Not even sure what it was. Bot Shot Launcher Got Prime and Megatron at about Â£2 each, never opened and will be giving as presents to a friends boys in a few days. Legend/Cyberverse Legion The only legends I know I bought this year are Thundercracker and Motorbreath in the Ultimate Gift set. Of the two I'll opt for TC. Basic/Cyberverse Commander Hmmm. Quite enjoyed Skyquake, but Ironhide is a very well done toy indeed and wins. Cyberverse Vehicle Got Wheeljack (if thats this year) wasnt terribly impressed, didnt buy anymore. Deluxe Any of the many RTS Jazz repaints and remoulds. Stepper is bling, Kickoff is an awesome homage, Treadshot (the weakest of the bunch) is an odd homage but still looks great. Wheelie is incredibly random, but works so well and comes with a slingshot. G2 Jazz does a great job of capturing the spirit of G2 paint apps and stickers while doing an all new layout. Dont make me choose. Voyager Did I buy any? Oh GDO Megatron is shiny, might have had competition from GDO Hotspot if TRU got around to shipping it. Kreon I do like Skywarps with metallic feet. Cliffjumper came out nice too, but I think I will go with the one of the vehicons. Kreo Set The cliffjumper and vehicon set. In terms of value per minifigure (if thats your main interest) Tescos permanent half price made it one of the best value toys of the year. Other Toy G2 FOC Bruticus not sure where else to classify it. Honestly I have yet to properly play with the figures very much, I'm not blown away by them but I dont dislike any of them and I look forward to mucking around with the combined form to find a layout that works.
Its "Other Toy" of the year for the box. Hasbro went all out on the box, even using the old Hasbro logo, its perfect.
Worst Toy Erm, I'm struggling to think of anything I bought this year that has really disappointed. Could be that I have been a little more careful in my purchases or expectations were low going in.
Purely for the TERRIBLE (it deserves caps its that bad) head sculpt on Botcon SG Soundwave. So disappointing could have been one of the toys of the year, they had the chance to put a great deco on an underrated toy and fix its one major flaw, its head. Instead they made the head worse and the less said about the headband the better.
And now to add a few catagories.
Best Leader Class Jetwing Optimus Prime (Amazon Edition), I've always like ROTF Prime despite its ridiculous transformation, I had no interest in the Takara Jetwing, but the Hasbro one with beutifully coloured G1 Jetwing and super bright guns for less that half the price is fantastic.
Ultimate Toy Year of the Dragon Optimus Prime, take what is actually a decent if very overpriced toy, swap out most of the drab grey with bright red plastic and slap giant golden dragons on the trailer. Then get it from Amazon for $30. Bargain.
Masterpiece Toy Sideswipe is shipping now, so this might change, but Thundercracker is brill. Dozens of little modifications that massively improve the original version of the mould.
I actually forgot about the botcon and club exclusives. That changes a lot.
Treadshot, Kickoff, Roadrage, Overrun, Runamuck, SG G2 Prime, and SG Drift are all tops. FP also deserves a few "Nice try" credits, for some things that fell flat (At least for me), but showed creativity, like Overlord and Metalhawk.
Also, just today I got Arms Micron Lioconvoy. Have no affection for Thundertron (Stupid name, and have no love for pirates. Looked extremely ugly, too), so passed. But I couldn't pass on the BW homage, and glad I didn't. Dispite being ugly, it's the best Prime mold I have. The first one I feels is deserving of being called a good transformer (As opposed to highly mediocre, like the "best" prime toys, ratchet, vehicon, arcee). So, I'm really happy with Lioconvoy. First official TF released this year that's not FP that I'm happy with (Aside from GDO, WHICH MY FRIGGIN TRU WON'T GET! I HATE BLOODY PRIME FE NOW! I dispise TRU exclusives.)
....anyway. I guess, nothing new impressed me this year. Everything I liked is all a repaint, usually of an older mold from a better time.
For knockoffs, I just aquired Grindrod and the first TFC aerialbot (I love how BBTS lets you "prepay" for things by building up store credit), and extremely impressed with them. Grindrod is deceptive. He looks boring, but he's actually really amazing. Brings me back to Marvel G1. Honestly, I think he's the top of my list for this year. An unauthorized "Knockoff" of an obscure throttlebot relatively few people actually cares about wins my selection of best TF of the year. Hear that hasbro? Something is wrong with this. FIX IT.
B2 Loved the dual cannon the moment I saw it. Need more.
Bulo, CL, Jida, Zori, BH and the capsule Bulkhead are all fabulous too.
Haven't bought that many.
Clear Yellow Bumblebee cos I'm a sucker for clear repaints.
Bot Shot Launcher
Easy one this: Optimus Prime. That trailer is a thing of love.
Dollar General Optimus Prime version 2: best colours for this toy on the modified version with a sword. All it needed to be perfect was an Op gun.
ALL the retooled Legends get praise. And an honourable mention for the Legion Wheeljack that came with his ship.
Dreadwing. A Missing Cyberjet. His repaint Skyquake, Ironhide, Magnus & Bulkhead are all good too.
Hard this because all the vehicles were good: Wheeljack's is a proper spaceship toy that a TF can sit in. Knockout's Energon drill is such fun. but for me the winner has to be Bumblebee's Battle Suit. Yes the alt mode is rubbish and it's a poor base and the plastic could be better but somehow that giant robot form is packed with character and features and really works for me. It hasn't left my desk since I bought it.
Wheeljack. Engineer with swords.
But the Japanese Arms Micron Bumblebee and Prime Cliffjumper are both good too.
Didn't buy any. But Skyquake/Dreadwing, Magnus and Thundertron/Leo Prime looked fab.
Galvatron. Once you strip off the extra bits for transforming he's OK. My rage against the flak jackets covering chest detail knows no bounds.
Didn't buy any.
Optimus Maximus. Again a toy with it's faults and again a toy with some character. A giant Optimus towering over his forces? SOLD!
Prime Kup. Something's been lost between the Cyberverse Ironhide version of this toy and the deluxe Kup version. It's gone wrong somewhere. The chest is too flat and that hatch behind the head is stupid. And it should have been Ironhide.
Oh and any Transforming Kreon wearing a Flak jacket that stops you seeing it's chest detail.
FOC Shockwave is okay, he just about does the job, but lacks that extra something. His alt-mode is a bit meaningless, and the gun doesn't look right and falls off easily. Ideally he would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Classics Megatron.
I'm happy to have him filling that gap in the collection for now, but he's nothing special.
Shame on you for not voting for the Legend Prowl with hands! Call yourself a Prowl fan ?? honestly.
And where's the vote for FOC Shockwave?
Oh my Lordy Lord how could I forget Legends Prowl with hands?!!!! And shiny paint!!!!!
Yes he is my favorite Legends.
MP Prowl would make a lot of sense. Three characters from one mold. YOU HEAR THAT HAS/TAK?!!!! AAAARRRGH!!!!!!
FoC Shockwave? I like him, but he's ridiculously small, compared to the rest of my collection. So much so he cannot be used for display or play. He's a standalone figure. Now, for the record, I don't necessarily mind the reduced size, but Shockwave is a big character and should indeed be as large as Megatron and Optimus. So no, he doesn't factor in my best of list.
I was the one who let you know, I was your sorry ever after, '84, '85. Give me new toys and I'll decide, but I'm really only after, '84, '85.
That gun tip is the worst, I don't even understand why it's detachable. I considered replacing mine with the AM version due to this, not least because Arms Microns are the best, but am not so fussed about the core figure that I'm going to pay import prices.
The more I think about it the more I realise I might as well keep Action Master Shockwave as my definitive version; no need to ever transform him, has a proper gun arm and a transformable partner. He ticks all the boxes!
Considering how little I have actually bought this year I am going to have to put in a "no return" for a number of categories - and an "honorary" for a few other where I have seen other peoples toys which have really impressed me. I mostly won't be doing worsts - I haven't bought enough to really have anything I strongly dislike.
Arms Micron: (honorary): The Mini-shockwave,
Bot Shot: No Return Bot Shot Launcher: No Return
Legend/Cyberverse Legion: No Return Basic/Cyberverse Commander: Dreadwing, really nice toy, like the sword and gunpod combination and it looks the part in both modes.
Cyberverse Vehicle: (Honorary) Wheeljack's Starhammer. Works really well as a playset and as just a nice space-ship toy.
Deluxe: Prime Soundwave. Captures the design of the show character really well in humanoid mode, and the Reaper/Predator is something we haven't really had as an alt-mode and feels very much of the moment. (And somehow a quiet, observation UAV which specialises in seeing without being seen seems appropriate for Soundwave if he must have a vehicle mode.)
I thought the Pirranicon reissue was supposed to be awful, due to the poor build quality?
The limited distribution of TF toys. combined with the high cost and low build quality, has severly limited my collecting tendencies this year. I've bought a few older toys from DOTM and other lines , but nothing major (DOTM Shockwave gets my vote for toy of the year). I would have picked up FOC Shockwave at retail, but find it difficult to get to TRU on a regular basis.
Now that I think about it, I've only bought Wheeljack, Dead End, Hot Shot, and Rumble from the current line. Even at a discount price, the Prime Voyagers are a disappointment and the Kreo's aren't too my taste. Dead End gets my vote for best Deluxe, simply on the basis that it is Wheeljack in crazzzy colours. Rumble has been the biggest disappointment - cheap plastic, disappointing paint application, and disappointing poseability make it an extremely dull toy.
I got my Piranacon at the start of this year in a BBTS clearance, and he seems fine to me. I've heard complaints about the changes of colour scheme, but can't say as they've bothered me. I'm happy to own a complete one of these at last! Would slightly have preferred an Encore release with a more reusable box is all.
I am generally pleased with a deluxe-sized release as I have a self-imposed rule of buying no bigger than that so was looking forward to FOC Shockwave very much... but now I have him I think he is too small after all. Not too bad a toy, though, although I would prefer a G1-style yellow on the eye and a better gun arm attachment. I now worry that FOC Ultra Magnus will be too small and I should opt for the Prime version instead?
Didn't buy a huge number of TFs this year, having been snared well and truly by Masters of the Universe Classics over the last 18 months or so. Nonetheless, I did like TF Prime Arcee (not because she is Arcee, just because of her good poseability and she works well in both modes). FoC Jazz is good in car mode but I feel less than robust in robot mode. I knew that Airachnid would be awful (she is) but couldn't resist her when I saw her in John Lewis anyway.
Hmmmm, I think that (a couple of older things on eBay aside) that may have been it on the 2012 TF front for me. Although I am very tempted by a few upcoming things (the aforementioned Ultra Magnus dilemma and also the FoC data disc packs that include Rewind and Ratbat, respectively) I think I am a bit put off by the plastic Hasbro have used over the last couple of years. All TFs now feel (to me anyway) very thin, lightweight and indeed cheap. A shame.