Monday, February 6, 2012

Transform... and Row Sham Bow!

Got some new Transformers finally... sort of. These just hit over the weekend... the new Transformers Bot Shots! Like the title says... and the pic shows, it's toys AND a game! The whole idea behind the Bot Shots line is basically the game Row Sham Bow... you know... Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. But sans the Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, or Spock. Instead, we have Blaster, Sword, and Fist. Cutely enough, it's kinda neat. As I collect mostly Optimus Prime Figs, I had to get Optimus himself in all his super-deformed, Row Sham Bowing glory!

The packaging is a nice little blister card display, showing off the figure in  its bot mode nicely. The back of the packaging gives us a look at the figure, its stats, the rules of the game (what wins over what), and the current selection of other figures available. So far the first wave consists of Starscream and Barricade for the Decepticons with Optimus and Bumblebee rounding out the Autobots. As you can see on the package,  there is a blacked-out mystery figure. By shape alone, I can tell you that it's Sentinel Prime. I was able to verify that by checking the pegs these were on. It seems Sentinel may be more of a chase figure in the case. He also stood out as being the only figure molded in translucent (red) plastic. If he is supposed to be more powerful than the other figures, I don't know. I don't care for Sentinel, so I didn't get him (nor the others, just Optimus)

The figure itself is a cute little "super-deformed" version of Optimus. He's pretty decently detailed for his size giving a near faithful representation of his Alt mode complete with trailer squished on. The transformation is simple, hit the front bumper and he springs up, transformed. It's part of the mechanic in the intended game, you crash two figures together and they transform.

Again, there's quite a lot of detail packed into these little guys. Optimus is molded in a gray plastic with some some decent colored and metallic paint apps... though I feel the colors are a little on the light side. His overall look appears to be a cross between his toon and movie versions.

The torso of the figure is where the game comes in. Each figure has a three-sided spinning icon. You have to choose which icon you want to use before playing. Simply spin it to what you want, collapse the figure down, and crash, see who beats who. 

The symbols used are Blaster, Fist, and Sword. Blaster beats Fist, which beats Sword, which beats Blaster. Though wouldn't you think Sword would beat Fist, it's only logical, right? Aw well. But what happens if players choose the same icon? Well, then you have the power scale. Each icon has a number attached to it, who ever has the more power, wins. 

What really pulls at the nostalgia strings for me on this is that it really takes its cue from the 80's Battle Beast line. Battle Beasts were little 2 inch figures that were anthropomorphised animals in armor with weapons. Each figure came from one of 3 tribes, Wood, Fire, and Water. You could tell which tribe your Battle Beasts came from via the rub-sign (popular in the Transformers line at the time) on the figure's chest. Rubbing the sign caused the symbol for which tribe it came from to show up. Fire beat Wood, Wood beat Water, Water beat Fire. Pretty simplistic. Later, as the line started dying out, they brought in a fourth symbol, Sunburst, which beat ALL others. 


I had my fair share of Battle Beasts. Later, I found that Takara had actually marketed the Battle Beasts as a spin-off line from Transformers. In the Transformers Japanese continuity, a group of Autobots had actually traveled to the Beast planet and helped the residents fight off the Decepticons. This wasn't a part of the American continuity and as far as beasts go in general, they really didn't really affect American Transformers until Beast Wars. Yes, there were some Pretender beasts and the Predacons, but I'm not getting into that now.

It would appear that Hasbro has tried to come full circle with the toy/game idea with a little bit of a twist, the transformation, added in. This could be a cool little game for the kids if it takes off. Though I doubt it will hit Skylanders, Bey Blades, or Bakugan status. As for me, I really just wanted my Optimus Prime and don't really plan on buying any more of the line.

Until next time...

... you just watched a 30 second commercial from the 80's with better animation than most cartoons we get these days.

 Your welcome.