PHOTOBER THE 1ST – Botcon Brimstone (and a bit of Air Raid)

There’s no real significance to this toy being the opening installment of my Photober, I guess it’s just kind of how it worked out while I was plotting a calendar. It is sort of something I’d had a desire to present in some way for a while, and obtaining, finally, the Takara version of Fall of Cybertron Air Raid probably helped get this moving for me.

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I have the impression that I’m in a relative minority of people that genuinely really likes this mold in general. I now have four of five versions of it that I can recall; the only one I don’t have is Takara’s Fall of Cybertron Shockwave. Shockwave is the application of this design I like the least though, so that’s okay.

The mold was of course designed first to be Shockwave, and I tried to make the best of it at the time because it was the only Generations option for the character. But the remold that followed in the very next wave had so much more life to it. I had the opportunity much later to get the Botcon use of that remold, which offered the chance to let the toy have a unique identity in my collection, which was much appreciated.

This is Brimstone, which comes from I’m pretty sure Botcon 2014. He’s faction-marked as part of a space pirate faction, which is an entertaining enough idea for me that I’m content not to cover that up with a standard Decepticon insignia. The deco is based on a Transformers Cybertron toy. Which turned in to a pteranodon or similar, as that toy was a Jungle Planet resident. It does strike me a bit odd to apply that character idea and deco to this mold, but I’d be lying if I said I understood a lot of what Fun Publications did. Like, in general. What matters more for my purposes is that I think these colors look really good on this toy.

I also recently picked up Takara’s Fall of Cybertron Air Raid. This has a very distinct deco as compared to the Hasbro version (which I also own but couldn’t find to display here) and is something I’ve long been interested in. But for that, the price was always beyond where I wanted to spend, or there would be a deal come up at a time I couldn’t afford to jump on it. It got annoying after a while. But I finally got one, and I started regretting the choice to feature Brimstone and not Air Raid, because hot damn is that an attractive toy in hand.

Being designed for the 2012 Generations line, the mold is not especially impressive by today’s standards for overall articulation. It’s also kind of small, as there was a bit of over-correction happening on Hasbro’s part to the shifting state of the economy prior to that time. It hit Shockwave harder, as the remold ended up coming out with an assortment of extra accessories that really help the toy shine. Ultra Magnus from the same wave benefitted in the same way versus the Optimus Prime that preceded it.

Air Raid, and thus Brimstone focus on bladed weapons. That might not be terribly interesting on its own, but the mini-gimmick of combining weapons that Hasbro tried to push through the Fall of Cybertron figures brings a bit extra to it. Utilizing the double-barrel cannon accessory, there’s multiple ways to configure the weapons and equip the figure. The sword has probably the least interactive flexibility, but it can still contribute as part of a goofy giant sword combo.

My favorite thing, which I have to credit (blame?) Gundam for is the larger bladed weapon, which I’ve always interpreted as analogous to the GN Sword III from Gundam 00; able to switch as needed between rifle or sword modes. In my mind it kind of balanced out how Air Raid or later Brimstone were armed, having one and a half each of ranged and melee weapons. I ought to add FOC Ultra Magnus in for this month somewhere so I can do some focus on its retooled weapons too; this feature was really compelling to me, and was entirely too short-lived, not even really making it through the whole Fall of Cybertron line itself.

Anyway, the vehicle mode is, much like we experienced during Siege, a Cybertronic vehicle of rearranged robot parts that doesn’t really look like much of anything. It’s clearly some kind of airship, but it’s also just kind of nothing at all. That’s less bothersome with one of these characters than with Shockwave, at any rate. I’ve long been amused as well that the large blade weapon in this mode more or less forms a keel under the vehicle mode.

Anyway, this mold is a weird favorite of mine, and Brimstone was my favorite version I owned right up until I finally got Takara Air Raid, so that’s plenty of reason to feature it.

What will Photober The 2nd bring? Come back tomorrow and see!