TFW2005 Staff Top Third Party Toy Picks of 2016

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by optimusfan, Jan 5, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. optimusfan

    optimusfan Kill your heroes Administrator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Posts:
    163,093
    News Credits:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    542
    Likes:
    +3,936
    Ebay:
    Facebook:
    Twitter:
    Yesterday the TFW2005 staff took a look at the top Transformers of 2016, and today our focus turned squarely to the third party market. Digging into the results one fact was very clear: the third party market may now be as fragmented as it's ever been, serving every niche from "Masterpiece" down to "Legends". Fifteen companies were represented in our nearly sixty figures selected.

    The market fragmentation lead to very diverse selections, with the top figures receiving a couple of votes more than the bulk of their competition. Notably, MakeToys Rioter Despotron nailed down three top votes and one honorable mention. FansToys Stomp thundered his way to two top and one honorable mention vote, and Mastermind Creations scored big with Carnifex by finally giving IDW's Overlord a proper plastic form.

    Our full picks are below.


    Superquad7


    MakeToys Ironwill

    It's actually been quite a bit difficult for me to transition away from official mainline Transformers releases to strictly Masterpiece and 3rd party offerings that fill in gaps. Both Combiner Wars and Titans Return figures all look really fun and stellar. However, I'm in a position where I can't swing both, so choices have to be made.

    Earlier in 2016, Titans Return brought back some of my favorite characters, representing them with one of my favorite features - Headmasters. My very first Headmaster was Hardhead, and he'll always be a very special character to me for that very reason. Once I saw MakeToys' Ironwill, I knew this would be a great figure, especially after owning Cupola before it from their "Re: Master" series.

    This figure is awesome. It's truly everything I'll ever want in a Hardhead figure. I love the option of swapping his face from a toy representation to one from the cartoon. It evokes everything about what it is for a figure to be "Hardhead" from the cool tank, to the bulkiness of the robot mode, even right down to rubber, movable tank treads! The transformation is fun, and admittedly that's an aspect where a lot of third party figures fall flat (these are supposed to be fun, after all!). Really, the only thing lacking from this figure is to be just straight up from the official party. It'll be the last Hardhead figure I'll ever need, barring an official Masterpiece release. It made passing on either offering by Hasbro or TakaraTomy easy for me.


    Runners up: Unique Toys Buzzing, Fans Toys Willys, Fans Toys Stomp, Mastermind Creations Ocular Max Liger, X-Transbots Arkose


    Onslaught24


    Fans Toys Stomp

    I didn't really get to collect too many of this year's offerings, but of the few that I did get, Stomp takes the cake. With every passing year and with every new release, Fans Toys's Dibots have improved tremendously overall. Stomp was easily the highlight of the set as his plastice and joints all feel tough as nails all around, and his engineering is brilliant. The dino mode head/neck storage and the hip locks especially stand out as simple yet effective engineering techniques. Stomp also probably has one of the best face sculpts Fans Toys has produced to date. All in all, I highly recommend him to any Sludge or Dinobot fans who may be on the fence.

    Runners Up: MMC (Ocular Max) Terraegis, MMC (Ocular Max) Sphinx (TFCon Chicago 2016 Exclusive), PC-08W Upgrade Kits for CW Maximus, PC-09 Upgrade kit for CW Bruticus



    ServO

    Spark Toys Alpha Pack


    So many great figures to choose from this year...I was lucky enough to have some of them in my collection.
    I'm choosing Spark Toys Alpha Pack as my favorite this year. A new company on the scene leading off with a very robust figure. He's everything I want in a Cybertron War Within Optimus. Of course, with any figure, there are a couple of minor quibbles, but for a debut, they were swinging for the fences, and I feel like they delivered.
    He's sturdy, chunky, hefty, and gorgeous. The paint job on this figure is outstanding, and you'll find yourself wanting to put it in your mouth.
    His transformation is very simple in an era where 3rd party figures are becoming seemingly more complicated...yet the simplicity in no way takes away from the satisfying conversion between modes.
    He looks awesome on a shelf, and is a load of fun to mess with.

    Runners up: Ocular Max Jaguar, Ocular Max Sphinx, X-Transbots Eligos


    Razerwire


    MakeToys Despotron


    It was a toss up between Despotron and Carnifex but Despotron ultimately won simply because it's a Megatron that finally fits in my Masterpiece collection. The proportions and scale are far better than the official MP Megatron which was in dire need of an update. Transformation is not nearly as frustrating as well which is a plus.

    Runners Up: MMC Carnifex, TFC Poseidon, MakeToys Striker Manus, MakeToys Rioter Despotron.


    Seawing

    TFC Hades

    I had a lot of fun collecting the six bots that make up this guy and I was very impressed with build quality of the materials and the aesthetics of the figures. TFC's previous combiners didn't do it for me aesthetically, but I feel that TFC has taken a giant leap forward with their latest combiner releases and I hope there are many more great releases to follow. And if you were wondering why I don't have any of TFC's Poseidon figures in my list, all of them are tied up in orders where other figures haven't come into stock yet. :( 

    Runners up: Maketoys Despotron, TFC Aiakos, Maketoys Himed, Maketoys Kitana, Fans Project Ryu-Oh


    axiom

    MakeToys Striker Manus

    This was a pretty easy choice this year. Even though I no longer collect CHUG scale figures, I picked this one up on aesthetics alone. Once in hand, I knew I had made a great purchase. Robot mode offers a great deal of articulation which combined with the "straying from the norm" style creates a very pose-able, great looking action figure. While there have been noted dislikes of the alt mode, I feel the Cybertronian truck mode does a good job of pulling off an "earth inspired" alien vehicle mode. QC was generally great on this figure with few complaints which when dealing with Third Party figures, we all know this can be a sore subject.

    All in all, 2016 was a pretty good year for Third Party. What better way to top it off than to have a figure produced of one of the most iconic (and overproduced characters) of all time and to have it shine as much as Striker Manus did?

    Runners up: MakeToys Despotron, Ocular Max Sphinx, Generation Toy J4ZZ, Spark Toys Alpha Pack, Planet-X Jupiter


    C310 Ginrai

    Ocular Max PS-02 Liger

    This years my purchase in third party declined in major ways, but I still managed to choose a few to add to my collection. Among them was PS-02 Liger from Ocular Max's Perfection Series. Third party figures often get a bad reputation for overly complicated transformation, but Liger (repaint of PS-01 Sphinx), I feel, was not an offender. Transformation was intricate, but most of pieces moves into a logical destination. The vehicle mode represents F1 Ligier JS11 very faithfully; it even features "GOOOYEAR" tempographs on the rubber tire and car hood. The "hologram driver" is a nice touch as well. Liger's robot mode is well articulated. Some of the articulation like the double hinge and butterfly shoulder joint, the movable thumb and trigger figure, and the double knee joint feels like extra effort put in by the designer that resulted in an excellent figure. Lastly, the lost of art of diecast construction is a cherry on this diaclone homaging cake.

    Runner-Ups:
    Gernations Toy J4zz, FansProject LED-04 Severo (TFCon Custom Class), DX9 Doombringer Set, Action Toys Eagle Robo.


    Jacer

    Maketoys Striker Manus

    When I first saw Striker Manus I thought he was a very weird take on Optimus Prime. I did not have much interest for the way he looked. After his release I watched a video review on him and was blown away by his dynamic range of poseability. His transformation is very unique too. He has so many moving parts and joints for his transformation. After seeing his size, poseability and transformation I expected a $120 price tag. To top everything off he was only $80! I bought him as soon as I could and he's been on my desk since then as my fiddle-bot.

    Runners Up:
    Iron Factory Ashura Knights, Mastermind Creations Jaegertron, Fansproject Severo DX, Iron Factory Pink Assassin



    ORIO

    Mastermind Creations Carnifex

    Yowza. I'm a big nerd for IDW's Transformer's comics. But Last Stand of the Wreckers is a book that I have read over and over and over. It's my favorite Transformers story by far. Of course, the main antagonist is Overlord. Mastermind Creations has delivered a figure that is true in appearance to how he looked in Last Stand and everything this figure does, it does it in spades. He's massive, poseable, and dammit he's just INTIMIDATING. He was SO intimidating, it took me a week and half to even attempt to transform him! The shoulder assembly was a little weird at first, but once you get it, you get it! Mastermind's Reformatted line has become my main priority for third party figures and I'm looking forward to everything else coming down the pipeline from them.

    Runners up:

    MMC Jaegertron, Fansproject Dia-Z, MMC Commotus, MMC Backdraft, MMC Sphinx


    Vangelus

    Maketoys Striker Manus & Rioter Despotron

    2016 is a year where I've certainly enjoyed many of the toys, but have also grown very tired of the tone of the conversation around Masterpiece-alike unofficial robot releases. Screencap-supported nitpicking, loud aesthetic lines in the sand, and sometimes bizarrely-fierce company loyalties that often serve to diminish and quash the idea that some of the designers in this strange niche field might have creative and unique ideas of their own. So, the debut figures in Maketoys' Cross Dimension line represent a whole lot of stuff that I feel is important to see on the market. While still derivative at their core, these are the beginning of a new line that puts a very fresh take on familiar faces, and wraps them in a delicious mixture of fascinating transformation and high-end articulation that makes me think of series like Robot Damashii and Sentinel Riobot. Cross Dimension's major bullet points are all things I hold in high regard, and Striker Manus & Rioter Despotron were excellent bookends to my 4th quarter of 2016.

    Runners up: Iron Factory Ashura Knights,Mastermind Creations Carnifex,Maketoys Rioter Despotron,DX9 Gewalt,Master Made Apollo


    optimusfan

    Fans Toys Stomp

    I'm going to be honest here, I'm starting to get burnt out on all the third party offerings. From companies one-upping each other and what appears to be a commitment by Hasbro and Takara to eventually fill all the important "holes" in a collection, my need to invest a lot in third party figures took a huge hit this past year. I decided in early 2016 to pass on most "Masterpiece" third party figures from here on out as a result, other than personal childhood favorites like Hardhead (Iron Will) who I think are unlikely to have an official offering in the near future.

    That being said, Fans Toys and Mastermind Creations continued to dominate this past year, and Stomp was a pretty easy top choice for me. The figure completed the Masterpiece Dinobots team that I always wanted, and it was clear that Fans Toys had learned a lot since their initial release of Scoria. He's the big, bulky Dinobot I remember from childhood, and a truly impressive figure.

    Runners up: Mastermind Creations Carnifex, MakeToys Ironwill, FansToys Mercenary, FansToys Forager, Mastermind Creations Anubis
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    • Like Like x 3
  2. peddlerofwine

    peddlerofwine Starscream's Robot Gun

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2015
    Posts:
    3,288
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +5,641
    MMC Overlord. MMC! MMC! But I do place FT Sludge right behind him.
     
  3. darkus Maximus34

    darkus Maximus34 One shall DIE,one shall FLY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Posts:
    147
    Trophy Points:
    47
    Likes:
    +96
    MMC Carnifex (idw overlord) & maketoys ironwill & tfc hades &maketoys striker manus

    hm :  

    maketoys rioter despotron & fantoys stomp
     
  4. AspiringCreator

    AspiringCreator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Posts:
    497
    Trophy Points:
    142
    Likes:
    +828
    I could not agree enough with Vangelus and his stance on the arguments and I do tip my hat to him for that. I love Transformers as much as the next guy but I agree that the near constant arguments and fights that have started up regarding scale, minor aesthetic differences and preferences and the transformations themselves has become ridiculous.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  5. Pitt

    Pitt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Posts:
    3,489
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +2,892
    Seconded (or is it Third...ed?).
     
  6. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm Good Morning, Weather Hackers! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Posts:
    20,044
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    442
    Location:
    Birthplace of Aviation
    Likes:
    +6,355
    I've been going very light on 3P stuff in 2016, so here's EVERYTHING 3P I got last year:

    Winner: Machine Boy Red Comet (deluxe-size KO of CW Powerglide)

    Runner up 1: that voyager-size remake of the Warbotron Grimlock kit
    Runner up 2: Eagle-Robo (technically not TF 3P, as it's Bandai property, and officially licensed.)
     
  7. Bnz Toy

    Bnz Toy 3P Combiner

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Posts:
    4,363
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +909
    Excellent to see MT Ironwill get some love. He is truly the perfect Hardhead. He just doesn't get as much limelight as the other celebrity bots :D 

    Truly, MT Ironwill is a great call.
     
  8. edgecrusher

    edgecrusher "She wanted nothin', and I delivered." TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Posts:
    15,952
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Valley of the Sun
    Likes:
    +23,713
    Wow, someone actually got a decent TFC Hades (or he's never tried the combined form) :D 
     
  9. Lord Dcast

    Lord Dcast Dr Lockdown

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Posts:
    4,816
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Location:
    'Straiya
    Likes:
    +948
    Ebay:
    Facebook:
    Twitter:
    So the staff is saying its good, but other's aren't. Can I get a quick lowdown on the general consensus of the combiner? Can the legs be fixed?
     
  10. kaotika

    kaotika Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Posts:
    1,023
    News Credits:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +1,035
    meanwhile no dante or hellfire.
     
  11. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Posts:
    8,226
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Location:
    Japan
    Likes:
    +7,372

    I believe the context is in fighting over THIRD PARTIES' design choices, and not official figures, right? Obviously, this is in a third party discussion, so I'll leave it at that.

    However, I believe debate on design choices is a healthy thing. Personally, I would rather functional, followed by fun transformations for any TF you and I'm easily put off a purchase by what I might feel as an overly complex transformation, especially if there is a risk of stress marks/breaking the toy.
     
  12. Lord Dcast

    Lord Dcast Dr Lockdown

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Posts:
    4,816
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Location:
    'Straiya
    Likes:
    +948
    Ebay:
    Facebook:
    Twitter:
    Is it weird that I heard Vangelus' voice as I was reading his pick?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. AspiringCreator

    AspiringCreator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Posts:
    497
    Trophy Points:
    142
    Likes:
    +828
    Oh it's not that stuff, the engineering debates and such are healthy but for a lot of this year, it was fighting over nitpicks and such.
     
  14. Sovietbot

    Sovietbot Autobot from USSR

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Posts:
    1,874
    News Credits:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +3,251
    Instagram:
    My list:
    1. MPP10 by WJ. Size like MP-01. The colors from original MP-10
    Colors of optics like the MP from Hasbro. He is the best!)

    2. Perfection Series RMX-01 Jaguar Premium Edition Ocular Max by MMC.
    On a lot cooler than the official Ravage! It remains only to make MPP13 Soudwave from WJ!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. edgs2099

    edgs2099 Optimistically realistic. Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Posts:
    14,423
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    342
    Location:
    Fanghorn
    Likes:
    +11,570
    Yes, discussing things we like and don't like about toys/collectables is a pretty fucking stupid thing to do on a website dedicated to said toys/collectables.
     
  16. Fretburn

    Fretburn We need Instrument TFs

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Posts:
    4,388
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +2,497
    No one was complaining about discussing things. It's the vitriolic and hostile way some people here need to discuss things. See anything by 18InchCombiner.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  17. edgs2099

    edgs2099 Optimistically realistic. Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Posts:
    14,423
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    342
    Location:
    Fanghorn
    Likes:
    +11,570
    Civilized discussion and someone shouting "Spinout SUCKS1, his fat chest is shit!" are one and the same. You'll never get everyone holding hands agreeing to disagree. Arguing/discussing differing options is a skill, and with that it's a skill that not a lot of people possess. This is a world of people moslty without that skill. You can't curtail the loud ugliness without inadvertently chasing away the civilized discussion. Engage in one, ignore the other.
     
  18. robh

    robh Decepticon

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Posts:
    3,597
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Likes:
    +1,846
    i agree with you Ian. I'm getting a bit burned out on all the offerings, too. So much so that unless the toy is pretty much perfect, I'm out. I've only been collecting again for a few years, but in those short years, it has become apparent that things are changing. You no longer have to get a "placeholder" because 5 other companies will soon be making their version of a character you really like.
     
  19. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Posts:
    11,633
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Likes:
    +6,128
    If Wei Jiang counts, than yeah, MPP10 takes the cake, with the runner up being their MP style evasion mode Prime.

    Otherwise, for totally original molds, I would go with Stomp. I skipped a lot of the other MP style 3rd party figures since, as it was said, Takara seems like they want to fill these gaps themselves.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. bman29

    bman29 Dancitron

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Posts:
    1,784
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +1,676
    Ebay:
    I picked up Striker Manus a couple of months ago and I really dig it. That and Riotor Despotron are awesome. I having only recently started getting into 3rd party can see the appeal and the overwhelming amount of stuff that\'s out there. I still think it is IP piracy to a point, but the decline and change in ecomomics with Hasbro/Takara will contimue to drive people to these boutique offerings.

    I think that BBTS is selling the Scrouge/Nemsis Prime Striker Manus version for $10-15 more of the same figure except in black is a little bit of a sting though. But that could be Maketoys doing. Pricing on a lot of 3rd party will always be a thing with me though. I can\'t justify the price of a figure going as much as a new game console or higher for some though.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.