Toy Review: Takara Tomy Legends Slipstream

“Hotly anticipated” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Before this review goes any further I really ought to raise my hand and confess to every kind of bias and vested interest there is going. Since I started planning my Slipstream cosplay project back in January 2015 I dread to think how many hours I’ve spent thinking about this particular Transformers character. I’ve watched those few episodes of Transformers Animated in which she appears, scrutinised screenshots, fanart, over-thought her colour-scheme, her composition and behaviour, and I’ve cosplayed as her 5 times now for various events and had the time of my life doing so. A bit part player in the TF canon she may be, but this Decepticon femme has become a firm favourite and a weirdly huge part of my life. I don’t know whether these factors will predispose me to write a ridiculously positive review (because OMG guys it’s Slipstream, right here in plastic) or whether I’m more likely to be overtly critical (because she is my main woman and I need this figure to do her justice). I guess we’ll find out, but either way be aware I’m hardly coming at this from a neutral perspective…

Here she is: Takara's Deluxe Legends Slipstream

Here she is: Takara’s Deluxe Legends Slipstream

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Halloween Transformers Episode Appreciation 1: Along Came a Spider (Transformers Animated)

Part of AddAltMode's Creepy Countdown series

Part of AddAltMode’s Creepy Countdown series

It was inevitable that we’d find a way to shoehorn in some Transformers-related content somewhere along the wooded, winding and deliberately badly-lit path of our Creepy Countdown series, so here we go…

Across the vast corpus of Transformers TV show content there have to have been some episodes that would make for sufficiently spooky viewing, and indeed there are. It doesn’t happen too often but when Transformers cartoons do decide to engage with scary tropes they pretty much go all in: from All Hallow’s Eve-set episodes that see the Cybertronian immigrants struggle with the night’s candy grabbing traditions, via reanimated zombie showdowns to that classic horror staple, spiders, oh so many spiders – here with a robot twist of course. So grab your pumpkin-flavoured popcorn and sit back for the first of two posts in which I recommend and appreciate a double bill of the finest Hallowe’en episodes the franchise has to offer…

When Transformers do Hallowe'en, things get weird fast

When Transformers do Hallowe’en, things get weird fast. Screenshot from Transformers Animated Ep.9.

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Transformers Animated Slipstream: cosplay photos from Auto Assembly 2015

To round off our week of posts about Auto Assembly 2015, here are the official photos of me cosplaying as Slipstream, taken by the talented Dean Stead Photography.  I’m really happy with how these came out; they’re probably the best shots I’ve seen so far in terms of showing off the costume.

AddAltModeR as Decepticon Slipstream. Taken during the cosplay parade at Auto Assembly 2015

AddAltModeR as Decepticon Slipstream. Taken during the cosplay parade at Auto Assembly 2015

More photos after the cut…

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Convention Review: Auto Assembly 2015, Part One

So, we went to Europe’s largest Transformers convention, Auto Assembly 2015, and all we got was…. this lousy T-shirt? Well, I did get a T-shirt, two in fact, but neither of them is lousy. How about what we got was an absolutely wonderful experience, some amazing memories and, uh, a rather large haul of plastic figures (more on that later).

We’re going to write up our thoughts and observations from the weekend as a series of three jointly written posts. So here we go with part one… which predominately features the Friday night, fangirling over Sumalee Montano and quite a bit of shopping and toy talk.

Some of the many AA banners around the venue

Some of the many AA banners around the venue

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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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TFA Slipstream Cosplay final work in progress update: wings, jetpack and putting it all together!

Better late than never? OK, so my Transformers Animated Slipstream costume has been finished for a while now (since early May), and if you’re an AddAltMode regular you’ll probably already have seen photos of the finished ensemble, which I wore for Free Comic Book Day and for Plymouth’s DevCon. But as a Cosblogger as well as a cosplayer, I do want to finish the work in progress story.

So this is the final chapter, which will look at the process of making the wings and jetpack, as well as painting and putting it all together. Big thanks to those of you’ve shared the ups and downs of this costume build journey with me. Honestly, your support and encouragement has meant a lot.

A sofa full of Slipstream!

A sofa full of Slipstream (l-r top): under top and arms (with attached hood), leggings and hotpants. (l-r, lower): greaves, blasters, helmet, gloves, wings (jetpack attached here), gauntlet, shoulders, gauntlet, make up (silver facepaint & purple lipstick), chest piece, toe-guards, boots, corset.

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DEVCON: May 2015

So, last Saturday was DEVCON, a sci-fi/comic convention that takes place in a lovely venue, the Guildhall, right in Plymouth city centre. I’d had a great time cosplaying Arcee at the Xmas Devcon last December, so I was really looking forward to heading back down there, this time as Slipstream of course….

Transformers Animated Slipstream Cosplay by AddaltmodeR. Photo by Damian Pudner:

Transformers Animated Slipstream Cosplay by AddaltmodeR.
Photo credit: Damian Pudner

 

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Starscream Saturday!

If you were only allowed to keep and collect one single character from Transformers who would it be?

B got quite distressed when I asked him that question and said he couldn’t bear to think about it, but eventually he conceded if that if he had to go all Highlander and there really could be only one he would pick Ultra Magnus. B is a big Ultra Magnus fan. Me? I’d choose Starscream. At this point you’d be forgiven for wondering how the two of us have managed to remain happily married for almost 7 years when our world views are clearly a little disparate…. Let’s just say that opposites attract and that taste in transforming robots thankfully doesn’t map neatly onto real world behavioural traits.

Anyway, the nice thing about Transformers is how un-Highlander the franchise is. Even limiting things to just one character doesn’t mean you have to have just one figure or even one uniform look. One of the things I like about Starscream is that he’s had quite a few different looks in the various shows, comics and game lines but whether blocky or sleek he’s always unmistakably himself.

Team Scream

Team Scream: my Starscream collection

I don’t have a huge Starscream collection by any means, but he is the single character of whom I have the most different figures, and I just added a new one (new to me, but actually an older toy) Voyager Transformers Animated Starscream, so this seems like a good excuse to officially name this #StarscreamSaturday and talk a little about the figures I have got.

So read on for Screamery goodness…. or villainy, really, I guess. Which is like the opposite of goodness.

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Let’s talk about… Female Transformers!

If you’ve more than a passing interest in a certain transforming robot franchise, you may have heard the news – and very welcome news it is too. Hasbro are finally bringing more female Transformers into the spotlight. Specifically, an article on USA Today reported that Windblade will be appearing in future episodes of the new Robots In Disguise cartoon, and that there are also plans to introduce a female ‘bot to the cast of the Rescue Bots, the iteration of the franchise aimed at youngest viewers, which is just entering its fourth season. This on top of the results of the fan built combiner poll, which also voted to create a new team of 6 female Autobots who – the USA Today article also reveals – will form a new combiner “Victorion.”

If we're being pedantic, she doesn't really roll does she?

RiD poster advertising the new arrival: source

Now female Transformers are a subject close to my heart, so this seems like a good time to discuss the topic in a bit more depth….

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TFA Slipstream Cosplay work in progress 4: Gloves and Gauntlets

Time for another work in progress post about my Transformers Animated Slipstream costume. The first thing to say is that she’s really starting to come together!  In this post I’m going to talk about the fabric components of the costume and about how I made the pieces I’ll be wearing on my hands and arms, which currently look a little like this:

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