Everything that’s wrong with the Transformers Prime Top Trumps set

Ah Top Trumps, that enduring game of comparing statistics. I say “enduring” for two reasons: firstly, the product itself has a long heritage, having been a playground staple since the 1970s, and secondly, depending on the composition of the particular deck, an individual game can run and run with just a couple of cards with ‘killer stats’ ensuring that the whole pile gets passed back and forth, usually between the last two remaining players.

When we used to run a monthly Chez Addaltmode games night (back in those heady days before all the shift work made such regular dates impossible)  we always used to “warm up” by starting the evening with a round of Top Trumps before progressing onto Poker or at least something else a little more mentally demanding (which, let’s face it, is almost any other game – except, possibly, uh,  Hungry Hungry Hippos). Over time, the Top Trumps became a bit of a running joke and our friends delighted in trying to find more and more bizarre themed decks with which we could battle stats; among the highlights were our Warhammer, The Muppets and Hello Kitty card sets – oh and the old Smash Hits deck that prompted an awful lot of  comments along the line of “who?” and “nope, don’t remember them!”

Yes this is a whole blog post about a deck of Top Trumps

Yes this is going to be a whole blog post about a deck of Top Trumps

So I was very amused when one of my friends bought me a Transformers Prime Top Trumps deck. Hooray for pictures of robots! Surely no danger of asking “who?” here! And comparing statistics should be all the better when you actually care about the characters under scrutiny – right? Except, sometimes it’s the things you love that can hurt you most of all. I know I am not the target market for this product, but even so, the more you know about Prime, the more WTF moments you’re likely to encounter flicking through these cards. From characters who aren’t in the series to really odd stat choices, there are some real mind-bogglers here, some of which at least gave me a good laugh. So in true Addaltmode tradition, I’ve compiled a list…. Don’t say we never cover the ultra-relevant, burning issues of the day on this blog!

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The Many Faces of Starscream: Top 15 Expressive Moments in Transformers Prime

You there! Read this highly informative article.

You there! Read this highly informative article.

Ah, Starscream. Likeable? No. Loveable? Absolutely. I’m fond of pretty much all the incarnations of the Decepticons’ reluctant Number Two. Indeed, in terms of personality he’s a remarkably consistent character: the precise mix of ambition Vs cowardice and genuine Machiavellian scheming Vs overblown melodrama varies between incarnations but the mix itself is always there. I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite Starscream overall, but if I were forced to at null-ray point I would probably go with Transfomers Prime Screamer (brilliantly voiced by Steve Blum). Why? Mostly because Eyebrows! Uh, I mean, mostly because, as I’ve already noted, the detailed style of this show’s animation really allows the creators to have fun with the robots’ facial expressions. Starscream is surely the most emotional and dramatic of all Prime‘s cast and the show brings him memorably to life.

Let’s revisit this show. Here’s a list of his finest faces that I spent waaaay too much time compiling. Enjoy! WARNING: contains spoilers for all 3 seasons of TF Prime.

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One Spoilt Robot: Customisations for Knock Out

I do enjoy spoiling the ones I love. This is why my 4 pet rats live the high life in cage designed for 12. It’s why I surprised B  last Christmas Day with the news that I was taking  him to Auto Assembly this year (our first time, so exciting!). And it’s why my toy of Knock Out – my favourite Decepticon – has a ton of customisation and actually more additional accessories than he can wield at any one time. Yeah it’s probably a bit over the top but let’s face it, if there’s one character from Transformers Prime who would appreciate a few aesthetic enhancements, it’s our Knock Out, and seeing as none of his toys really do the character justice he’s due a few perks at least.

So here’s a brief guide to how this Automobile Enthusiast got pimped….

Knock Out Screenshot from Transformers Prime Episode 64 "Synthesis"

“Because I’m worth it”

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Transformers Prime: Top Facial Expressions

I’m quite a fan of the Transformers Prime TV show (you might have noticed). One of the things I really like about the TF franchise in general is how the same characters and character archetypes appear and reappear in different but still recognisable guises over time. Prime in particularly has a very small cast and  – though it loses its way in places – I love just how character-driven a show it is. Part of that success is due to the fantastic voice acting, but I also like just how expressively animated the Bots are – especially their faces.

So, with no further ado, I bring you 6 of my favourite TF Prime expressions….

CONTAINS SPOILERS but honestly, Prime is a few years old now and if you haven’t watched it already I’m surprised you’re still reading.

6. Bumblebee: unwelcome ad break 

Screencap from Transfomers Prime

Screencap from Transfomers Prime Episode 30 ”Operation Bumblebee, Part 1′

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Cosplay 2014: Transformers Prime Arcee

Why do I Cosplay?

Photo by Colin Head

Photo by Colin Head

  • I enjoy the creative challenge of planning, sourcing and putting together an outfit from scratch.
  • It’s a great way to express my love for my fandom(s) and to meet new friends as a result.
  • It’s a lot of fun, both to make and to wear.
  • It’s a massive confidence boost. I’m pretty shy in real life and when I go to conventions and events just as myself I have a hard time approaching people, but when the helmet / armour / wig whatever goes on I am transformed and have so much more fun interacting with everyone from guests, stallholders and attendees to fellow costumers -and especially kids. Dressing as a Transformer goes down incredibly well with the younger convention goers and it’s so much fun interacting with them:

– Hi Arcee! Arcee, Arcee will you turn into a motorbike?

– I’m under strict orders from Optimus Prime, bot mode only today I’m afraid.

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