TFW2005 2017 Third Party Staff Picks

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by Onslaught24, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Onslaught24

    Onslaught24 ALL PUDDING CUPS FOR BUU Moderator News Staff

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    Although we're about halfway through the first month of the new year, there's still a bit of reflection to be done on 2017 and the plethora of plastic robots it brought us. In particular, the staff have shifted their focus to the unofficial products crafted by the many third party companies we know and love. This past year was one full of surprises as Fans Toys churned out more gems for Masterpiece fans including the largest third party figure to-date, Mastermind Creations dropped jaws as if they were magnetized to the floor with their recreations of some very popular IDW characters, and Unique Toys released what some might call the "Dark Horse of 2017". We also saw Make Toys take some highly-praised risks, Fans Hobby quickly rise through the ranks, and many others do what they do best, filling out the collections of many eager Transformers fans from all different backgrounds.

    Want to see which figures made our year? Take the jump to read the staff's thoughts on their top picks and who took home the silver and bronze, and share your thoughts and feelings in the discussion below!
     
  2. optimusfan

    optimusfan Kill your heroes Administrator

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    Black Convoy

    Unique Toys R-01 Peru Kill

    One of the best examples of what a 3P company can do when they have the opportunity to bring you the best option for your collections. Lockdown was the iconic villain in AOE, but so far we only got an official Deluxe figure (with a remold for Takara Movie The Best line). Unique Toys did not only brought a movie-screen accurate Lockdown but a figure that really makes you think on "mass shifting". You go from the elegant car mode to a really tall robot mode who looks awesome next to the recent MP Movie toys. You get the mask, rifle, hook and even his robotic pet. A very impressive transformation, maybe one of the best this year.

    Runners up: GCreation Fuuma, Fans Toys FT-20 Terminus Giganticus, Fans Hobby Feilong, Fans Toys FT-10 Phoenix, Generation Toy GT-02 Tyrant



    C310 Ginrai

    Mastermind Creations R-18 Kultur


    Third party saw many more pricey releases in 2017, which translates to far less purchases of figures in this market for me. While Kultur is quite affordable, thee figure's quality is definitively premium. Both mode of Kultur are very solid. In tank mode, the vehicle is sold and imposing. All parts pegs in solidly, and the angular design is undoubtedly Cybertronian. In robot mode, this is where the figure shines. All major articulation points are present here, with well implemented hip ratchet joints (as well as a big toe joint!) that results in a very posible yet stable figure. Every part feel incredibly solid on this figure, and this leads Kultur to being the pinnacle of Mastermind Creations' offering thus far

    Runners up: Mastermind Creations R-27 Calidus, Iron Factory IF-EX18D Lord Scorpion (Dark Version)



    Lumpy

    IronFactory Dirge

    He’s small, he’s fun, he’s Dirge.

    Runners up: Robot Hero Durden and Barney



    Matty

    Mastermind Creations Kultur

    Third Party purchasing was limited again this year due to focus and restraint. The market is overwhelmed with releases right now, but there are several top tier figures worthy of nomination. To a group of our Fandom, Tarn from More Than Meets The Eye captured our interest and never let go. This character was menacing, mysterious, and surely never seeing a worthy toy. Mastermind Creations capitalized on that and delivered a simplistic, engaging, and figure of the year toy in Kultur. Kultur doesn't have one strong suit, it's simply a phenomenal representation of a character fans wanted. In a market where Masterpiece toys are in high demand, MMC delivered a smooth Classics/Generations esque figure that stands out. It's worthy of my top spot of 2017 in the Third Party realm.

    Runners up:
    Fans Toys Grinder, Mastermind Creations Calidus, Fans Toys Phoenix, Fans Toys Terminus Giganticus



    Onslaught24

    Fans Toys Grinder

    I didn't collect much third party this year, but what I did get really wowed me. However, nothing held a candle to Fans Toys Grinder. After slapping the reprolabel insignias on and attaching the G1 dino head, it looked like he jumped right out of the cartoon. Grinder held the position of "deskbot" the longest out of any third party figure (and possibly any figure in general) this year before going on the shelf. The figure is overflowing with expression and is imposing in all the right ways. He was one of the few purchases this year to break that cycle of "conveyor belt collecting" for me as I feel I was able to sit down and thoroughly enjoy him for as long as I needed. As usual, Fans Toys never ceases to improve, especially as they released their crowning Dibot to finish the team. While their other releases, Phoenix and Terminus Giganticus, were incredibly fun and major feats of engineering, TG's size and Phoenix's proportions/design hindered their poseability some, which is a huge criteria for me. Bottom line: Grinder is a show-stealer and really puts the "Masterpiece" in Masterpiece-inspired.

    Fans Hobby Feilong, Fans Toys Phoenix, Fans Toys Terminus Giganticus, Mastermind Creations Cyclops (reissue), Robot Hero Durden/Barney



    optimusfan

    XTB Klaatu

    2017 was supposed to be a great year for Cosmos. Three different companies announced "masterpiece" Cosmos figures, and as the self-proclaimed #1 Cosmos fan I was PUMPED. Nothing was going to stop me from getting these figures. Space Racer came out first, and he was a very fun toy, and remains my favorite of the three to pick up and fiddle with. XTB Klaatu came out next, and dazzled with a build quality and design I haven't seen in other XTB releases. And they made this happen.

    MMC was last out of the gate with Omne, and at first glance I was in love. Great feel, proportions, and posability. Then he broke. And it happened to others. And then waists started exploding. So here we are nearly two months later and I don't have replacement parts, though MMC is in contact now and promising to fix things. As a result this otherwise nice figure is going to be listed below the KMart Universe Cosmos KO's I picked up for the time being to keep my dreams of an all-Cosmos list intact.

    Top pick of the year is Klaatu. Good job Keith Fantasy.

    Runners up: ToyWorld Space Racer, ToyWord Space Racer (clear), KMart Universe Cosmos KOs, Ocular Max Omne



    ORIO

    MMC Reformatted Kultur
    MMC Reformatted Tyrantron


    Now, before I gush over these interpretations of IDW’s most ruthless, I just want to point out that my 3rd party collecting has dwindled considerably. I don’t dip into the Masterpiece-alike figures too often and that is what currently dominates the 3rd party market. MMC scratches my itch for figures I can include in my Generations/Classics display. I just needed to preface that so I don’t seem bias. Kultur And Tyranotron rule. Plain and simple. These two figures aren’t overly complicated just for the sake of being difficult to transform. That in of itself, is why I continue to support their Reformatted line. What’s the point of having a really cool, expensive figure if you’re too afraid to transform it? They have nailed down that very basic and fundamental understanding of what makes transforming toys fun and Kultur and Tyranotron are both excellent examples of that. Take that, add in super fun features like Kultur’s removable magnetic mask that can be worn on Tyranotron’s chest, various weapon choices and easy to swap out heads and armor and my pants start to shrink.

    Runners up:
    MMC Reformatted Oberon, MMC Reformatted Titanika, MMC Reformatted Boreas, MMC Reformatted Turben



    Razerwire

    Fans Toys Phoenix

    If you know me well, you'll know about my pet peeve about Jetfire/Skyfire. I've always wanted a Skyfire toy since the first time I saw him on TV, but we never got him. All we got was Jetfire, which to me as a Macross fan, is never acceptable. But FT answered the bell and released a Skyfire that is superb. My one gripe with it is the lack of weapon storage in alt mode. Other than that, it easily wins 3P figure of the year for me. It has the size, the look, the transformation that's perfectly satisfying and so on.

    Runners up: MakeToys Contact Shot, MakeToys Downbeat, MMC Reformatted Kultur, Fans Toys Terminus Giganticus



    Seawing

    TFC Toys Thousandkills

    My third party figure collecting has diminished substantially since the third party manufacturers shifted their focus to the Masterpiece and Legends scales. As a collector of mainly CHUG style figures, especially combiners, my choices this year was pretty limited. That said, my top Third Party figure for 2017 is TFC Toys Thousandkills. I have always liked the charm and goofiness of G1 Tentakil's squid-monster mode and he is one of my favorite Seacons. TFC Toys has done a great job on their Poseidon combiner with updated engineering and aesthetics while keeping the versatility of the G1 toy intact. Thousandkills looks menacing in robot mode with the nasty scowl on his face, piercing yellow light-piped eyes, and is armed literally with eight posable tentacles—which are ready to crush you! And in his beastly sea monster mode, his monstrous face is even creepier and more vicious than the G1 toy. Plus there are added extensions to the tentacles to extend his reach. His limb modes do a great job as limbs but the tentacles do get in the way and some of the segments should be removed to make them more manageable. He does have a gun mode just like the G1 toy and it looks good but seems to be a little heavy and I wonder if the weight puts too much stress on the included plastic stands and if it will fail over time. The build quality and paint are top notch and thus the figure feels heavy and good in your hand; just watch out for the sharp bits—which are everywhere. Whether buying him as a one-off for your collection or to complete your Poseidon gestalt, TFC toys did a great job with this figure in keeping the versatility of the G1 toy intact while updating its aesthetics, engineering and build quality.

    Runners up: Perfect Effect PC-16, TFC Toys Trinity Force Red Knight



    Smashs

    Unique Toys RT-01 Peru Kill aka AOE Lockdown

    I don't even know how to begin to explain the black magic UT conjured up to make this happen. AOE/TLK figures are not supposed to be possible with such accuracy in both modes. This has me extremely excited for the new 3P movie figures coming soon.

    Runner's up - Fans Toys Phoenix, Fans Toys Koot, Fans Toys Apache, Fans Toys Terminus Gigantus



    Superquad7

    Fans Toys Terminus Giganticus

    This has been a stellar year for 3rd party figure offerings - so much, in fact, that I'm not able to keep up as I'd like. I'd wanted this figure ever since we'd seen the first photos, but I didn't think that I'd be able to swing at it just due to the price. Well, things worked out for me, and I was able to pull this figure in as my main Christmas gift! I was a bit nervous, as I wasn't for sure if it would live up to the anticipation I'd had for it.

    I'm glad I was wrong.

    This figure is just straight up awesome. Of course, the sheer size of this thing is the dominant characteristic of the thing. This figure is a testament of just where the 3rd party arena has arrived now. However, this figure is strong in being a fun toy. The transformation is engaging - it's not to fiddly or finicky, as some 3rd party figures tend to be, and it's not so involved that it's a time-sucker just to go from mode to mode. It totally captures the character it represents, both in aesthetic and playability. In short, it's everything I'd ever want in an Masterpiece Omega Supreme.

    Runners up: MakeToys Contact Shot, X-Transbots Klaatu, Fans Toys Phoenix, Fans Toys Grinder



    Vangelus

    Bold Forms Gladius

    This year I've decided to highlight the unofficial toy that made me think the most, rather than the simple task of picking the one I liked best. Most of my top favs are already being highlighted by fellow staff, and I'll list off a few down below. But Bold Forms Gladius is a piece that epitomizes exploration of concept to my current path of thinking more about this hobby that I still enjoy. Obviously, the figure has a long and storied development history, spearheaded by a team of (I think) literally one guy, and it shows. For better and for worse, Gladius is bursting with the energy of a one-man passion project, from the extremely specific decisions and solutions in its engineering, to the "listen I'm sitting down with you to tell you how my thing works" tone of the instruction manual, which goes into meticulous detail about some concepts and then blows past others as it runs into an apparent budget wall for its page-count. Gladius is riddled with flaws, but just as riddled with intrigue and outright sparks of genius. In a market where poor releases often fall into the two buckets of "too fragile" or "too complicated", Gladius remains a piece I wouldn't recommend to most people, but that I am extremely pleased to own and inspect. It is a transforming toy filled with small victories and critical faults, whose very existence and engineering tell the compelling story of a designer who I hope and pray can get one more chance to make a thing that he wants to make. (Maybe with one or two more core design team members to challenge and riff ideas against.)

    Runners up:
    MMC Kultur (Still the strongest MMC release to date, for the sheer combination of smooth transformation, solid silhouettes, and delicious handfeel)
    UT Peru Kill (A toy with borderline magical transformation design that never forgets to stay smooth and unfrustrating)
    MakeToys Galaxy Meteor (Slick and pleasant high-end transforming toy experience ladled lovingly onto frigging Galaxy Force, in the kind of release I didn't think this G1 Whale marketplace would allow)
    Iron Factory Seekers & Coneheads (Iron Factory rides the line of a chunk aesthetic just right, to allow these articulated jetbots with waist joints! to have a transformation that takes just long enough to make me smile)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  3. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    Good choices, and I would have to agree with Fans Toys Phoenix. Jetfire was my favorite G1 toy but I always wanted a toy that matched the cartoon... oh, and also rocked as a collector toy and stayed together. As a close runner up, I was also really impressed with Fans Toys Sovereign. Again, I always wanted a movie accurate Galvatron and he is one hefty, awesome son of a bitch!
     
  4. T-Hybrid

    T-Hybrid Undersea Warrior

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    At least *someone* showed Poseidon some love!
     
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  5. Potchez

    Potchez Well-Known Member

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    This is very accurate.

    IMG_20180113_150544.jpg
     
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  6. BIOMEC

    BIOMEC Terrorcon

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    At last! Peru Kill gets the recognition it deserves!
     
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  7. Devastator21

    Devastator21 Well-Known Member

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    Hes not really special imo. All he does is panel form.
     
  8. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    Peru Kill is an awesome figure if you ask me- if a transformation works and isn't partsforming, I don't care how simple or panely it is. Problem for me is he was just a one and done character in his movie form, so I didn't really care enough to own him myself.
     
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  9. Everything Man

    Everything Man Well-Known Member

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    fans toys soverign...like i dont think were gonna get a better galvatron....like ever
     
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  10. BIOMEC

    BIOMEC Terrorcon

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    He is indeed special, he manages to be accurate in both modes... something no one was expecting of a bayformer from AoE, were most of the alt-mode parts are "missing" in the robot mode... He also change his size considerably between modes, another feature worth mentioning! :) 
     
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  11. ACMagnus

    ACMagnus Just Monika.

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    2017 was the first year that I actually caved in and bought a third party figure in MMC's Kultur. It just hit all the right spots for me, and was the perfect thing to buy right after finishing Dying of the Light.
     
  12. I Am James

    I Am James Emirate Xaaron

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    Uhh what panels does he have? Basically none.
     
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  13. I Am James

    I Am James Emirate Xaaron

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    2017 was the first time I purchased a 3rd Party Figure. I got Peru Kill as well as the Wei Jiang Commander (albeit really moreso a KO). I also have Alien Attack Firage preordered and plan to buy one of the TLK Optimus' as well as the TFEvo Hotfire. Apparently the movie designs are what I want most.
     
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  14. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Surprised it's not represented by the staff at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  15. 86mcss

    86mcss Well-Known Member

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    not one vote for fans toys sovereign? color me surprised.
     
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  16. Acteon

    Acteon Overworked

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    No mention of Maketoys Thunder Erebus is a shame - probably the most fun figure to pose for me this year, and he can pull of pretty much anything you throw at him. Great proportions, excellent smaller robot and even the guns combine, it’s a terrific fiddle-bot with excellent shelf presence to boot.

    More surprising is Sovereign’s omission as others have said. I’m no big fan of the character but even I bought him due to sheer quality of build and sculpt.

    Good to see Kultur get some love, and some interesting picks all round though :) 
     
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  17. Everything Man

    Everything Man Well-Known Member

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    erebus is an amazing figure, the issue is that the strikers set the bar so freakin high for cross demensions that when u compare it to them it looks like something average
     
  18. LazyAza

    LazyAza MMC Schmuck

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    yay for kultur!
     
  19. Onslaught24

    Onslaught24 ALL PUDDING CUPS FOR BUU Moderator News Staff

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    He probably woulda been on my list had I picked him up. Don't have the room to do full MP movie cast shelves though unfortunately.
     
  20. optimusfan

    optimusfan Kill your heroes Administrator

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    I don't have Sovereign, though he looks very nice. I moved further away from 3P Masterpiece figures this year, especially for characters that have a high probability of official release. I'm tired of buying and then needing to sell 3P figures once the official is released. I also use classics as my "gotta catch 'em all" line. At this point my exception are for the short list of characters I really enjoyed as a kid, which is why I think the only third party MP figures I picked up this year were the various iterations of Cosmos and Grinder.

    To be fair, if I hadn't had the chance to do an all Cosmos list Kultur would have been my top pick, as well as pretty much all of the other IDW-inspired MMC figures. Mastermind Creations Reformatted continues to knock it out of the park for me.
     

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