Knowing what to buy anyone during the holidays can make for a pretty dicey season of giving. But toy collectors with discerning tastes? That's usually gift card territory. But it doesn't have to end that way! We're here to help with a guide breaking down some of the most awesome action figure and toy options for the young and young at heart (mostly the latter). Whatever your articulated plastic budget is this year, we've got recommendations sure to please. Hit the jump for ComicsAlliance's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide to Awesome Action Figures.
The casts of IDW's two flagship Transformers titles are set to collide this Wednesday with the release of Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1, the kickoff of a potentially apocalyptic event that could reshape the Autobot and Decepticon's homeworld forever... as in, like, leaving everybody dead. The issue is the first of a twelve-part series that will alternate between Transformers: Robots In Disguise and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye each month through its conclusion in March. IDW has provided CA with a first-look at the beginning of the Transformers event, which is co-written by James Roberts and IDW senior editor John Barber, with layouts by Phil Jimenez, finished art by Andrew Griffith, prologue art by Brendan Cahill, and colors by Josh Perez and J.P. Bove. Transform and roll out past the cut to see Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.
Hasbro and Takara's larger Transformers Optimus Prime figures have been sporting Autobot Matrix of Leadership-storing chest chambers for years now, but Action Toys' upcoming UM-1 Ultimetal Optimus Prime digs even deeper by giving toy fans a look at the Generation 1 version of the heroic leader's entire anatomy from the inside out via removable plates. Turns out robots-in-disguise are full of their own mechanical guts and black stuff.
Hasbro and Linkin Park have teamed up to produce a special edition figure of the Transformers character Soundwave. The Linkin Park Soundwave Transformers action figure is the first celebrity designed Transformers toy since Hasbro first teamed with Takara to bring the robots-in-disguise to America 30 years ago. The figure was previously only available at the Suru store in Los Angeles, but ComicsAlliance is teaming up with sister sites Loudwire and Noisecreep to give one away for free!
At this point, Transformers and G.I. Joe have crossed over so many times that it takes something pretty special to get our attention, and today, IDW did exactly that with the announcement that the latest Transformers/G.I. Joe series will be drawn and co-written by the amazing Tom Scioli.
Seriously, whoever used one of their magic lamp wishes to make this happen, everyone here at ComicsAlliance sincerely thanks you. Check out the full cover, in which Scioli draws Destro and a few other, less important characters, below.
We all know that bananas and banana peels are excellent sources of potassium and physical comedy, respectively, but did you know that they could also be used as a medium for art that will alternately amuse you and haunt you to your grave? Neither did I until I saw the work of Japanese "banana engraver" Keisuke Yamada, who has carved presumably edible versions of all manner of pop culture figures and/or mind-bending horrors.
Check out a few of our favorites -- including characters from Attack on Titan, The Simpsons, Alien, Transformers, Castle in the Sky and Star Wars -- below, and don't worry: If one of these pops up in your breakfast tomorrow, you can always defend yourself with Yamada's flintlock pistol. The flintlock pistol is also carved from a banana.
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Monday's links await, after the cut.
Filling the play demands that exists between Hasbro's main line of Transformers action figures and its bricky KRE-O building sets have come new Construct-Bots, customizable -- and yes, fully-transformable -- new robots in disguise due at retail on August 1. CA hit the toymaker's build-a-bot breakfast this morning to see what the line had to offer and, despite my best efforts to make the goofiest figure possible, I discovered that this play system manages to handle even the ugliest designs with action figure aplomb.
While I was impressed by the 24" stature of Hasbro's new Metroplex (a.k.a. the Transformer who turns into a friggin' city) this past spring at Toy Fair, the figure's sheer scale didn't quite sink in at the time. Maybe it was just me being surrounded by New York City's skyscrapers? Whatever the case, when the SDCC 2013 exclusive Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex arrived at ComicsAlliance HQ care of Hasbro this week, I was immediately convinced I'd have to buy the thing its own love seat to fit it in my apartment. It's, like, bonkers big.