Sunday, 21 December 2014

Generations Combiner Wars Dragstrip


It turns out I have a favourite original Stunticon and it's Dragstrip. This may have happened by accident: I came by a spare in a parts box and he's spent the last two years standing on my bookshelf looking at me so maybe I've grown to love him that way. Or it might be because he's the Stunticon you're most likely to see so he crops up as a Mirage/Racecar repaint quite often: see the classics version or even the Power Core version which is blatantly Dragstrip even though they couldn't get the name right even when forced into a second attempt!

Combiner Wars Dragstrip is the sole Stunticon in the first wave of toys: he has purple accents on his card to denote his team and is numbered 1. He comes in robot mode with a double barrelled cannon and a sword. The Sword is a bit of an oddity since the original 1986 toy didn't have one. There again neither did the other original Stunticon limbs but all of Combiner Wars Stunticons do. Watch out for the peg sticking out the sword at an odd angle which looks like it might be a handle to use it as a gun: it isn't and is slightly too big for 5mm peg hole hands. So bye bye hand gun, with the dual cannon now used in all modes substituting.

The robot itself actually does Dragstrip really well: mainly a mustard yellow colour, with the lower legs being the rear of the race car, the nose on his back and a purple head, a colour also used on the shoulders, waist, upper legs and hands. The main difference is the chest: previously it was the car's cockpit filled with the engine block, now it's the back of the car but the visible grey Combiner Wars connector makes an adequate stand in for the engine block. Articulation is good: bending knees, ball jointed hips, rotating waist, ball jointed head & shoulders, bicep swivel and bending elbow.

Transformation: Straighten the legs pegging them together. Rotate 180 degrees at the waist. Slide the upper legs into the lower legs! Lord be praised, a sliding limb joint, I thought they were extinct! So many times Hasbro's done all sorts of rubbish when a simple sliding joint would have sufficed! Anyway make sure the two tabs on the back of the cockpit have sunk into the rear of the vehicle. Fold the hands in. Straighten the arms and fold into the side of the car: a slot on the wrist has a tab near the rear wheel. Unpeg the node of the car from the figure's back, rotate it forward and push into place making sure the two small tabs sticking out the rear of the nose recess into the car body: they are slightly too widely spaced on my example. Take the dual cannon and use the 5mm peg on the top of the toy to fit the cannon to the car: there's a 5mm peg hole between the two cannons.

The car feels nice and big compared to some recent deluxe offerings but is exactly, and as simply, as you imagine it: a yellow car with purple accents and a big cannon on top. Gone are Dragstrip's two pairs of front wheels replaced with the more conventional one. Wheels turn OK: it is a typical Transformers race car. My only problem is that there's nowhere to store the sword! Non weapons storage in a recent release is such a rare thing it makes me think I've missed something!

Dragstrip can also serve as a limb for a Combiner Wars Combined Robot.

Leg Mode: Take the care mode: move the nose onto the Car's back in it's robot configuration. Fold the head back into the nose. Fold the very rear of the car up and forward onto the top of the rear, exposing another combiner peg socket underneath. Fold the chest connector out so it sticks out the front of the car. Fold the back of the weapon out to form a heel spur, put it on the ground and peg the rear of the car into it with the barrels facing the same way as the top of the car. Slot into a combining slot on a Torso.

The leg mode is solid, which is what you want, and provides the larger robot with a thigh swivel, bending knee and an ankle swivel.

Arm Mode: Take the robot mode and peg the legs together. Fold the hands in and fold the arms so the wrists touch above the head. Fold the gun barrels on the cannon down 90 degrees, fold out the fingers and peg into the robot's feet. Rotate the combiner wars connector out the chest 90 degrees and slide into a shoulder socket. Rotate the waist so the back of it faces forward. Rotate the hand so the fingers are on the outer side of the arm.

Unlike the leg, where all the articulation is provided by the Combiner Wars connector and foot, here Dragstrip is actually doing some work. The shoulder rotation and flexing to the side IS still provided by the connector, and the hand gives us the wrist swivel but the rest is Dragstrip's legs with the waist becoming a bicep swivel, the hips an upper elbow hinge and the knees a lower elbow hinge. All do their job just fine.

Overall: Decent solid toy in all modes. The lack of a location for the sword in vehicle mode and it's odd side handle is a bit of a head scratcher!

Future Repaints

Leaked computer listings reveal an upcoming Combiner Warts Mirage which is probably a Dragstrip repaint. Original Dragstrip has a cancelled Generation 2 repaint which would make a nice convention exclusive down the line.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Generations Combiner Wars Silverbolt & Superion


I have some history with Silverbolt and the Aerialbots: why have the Autobots ended up with jets, a mode in 1986 more commonly associated with the Decepticons, as their first combiner? Surely cars or construction vehicles would have been a better fit thematically but the Decepticons got both of those! Silverbolt's contribution to the combined form of the Aerialbots meant he was tall, with legs too close together, or shorter with legs further apart. Drove me mad. But over the years I've come to accept him as second in the flying Autobot pantheon behind Jetfire. Love the Universe version, though I owned the whiter Japanese version, even if he couldn't combine.

It is with some inevitability that one of the first Combiner Wars Voyagers is Silverbolt. How does he measure up?

Straight out the box Silverbolt is fighting a loosing battle with his case mate: he's about half the width of Prime and, although only half a centimetre smaller, looks tiny beside him. He looks thin compared to the original too, but retains a similar blocky look with no clues to his alternate mode from the front: all that is folded up on his back. Colours are good: a mixture of white, black, red and yellowy orange. He comes with a MASSIVE gun which looks similar to the original: this can separate into a shield and a gun for him to hold or peg into his forearms which each have a 5mm hole on the side.

Articulation:Ball jointed head. Turning shoulders which raise to the side. Both are heavily ratcheted for reasons which will become apparent later. Bicep swivel. His elbows bend. Yes really, they do! They're latched straight and excessive force is required to bend them. The reason for this will become apparent later too. Wrists don't turn but raise as part of the transformation. No waist joint. Hips have the same movement, and ratchets, as the shoulders. Thigh swivel. Double bending knee. For a Voyager I'd like turning wrists and a waist but I can understand why both are missing here.

Transformation: fold the red chest forward, fold the head back and replace the head. Straighten the arms along the body and fold out to the sides. Unfold the panel on the back of each lower leg. Fold heel spur into foot and then foot into leg. In turn turn each leg in 90 degrees, so the red panel is on the front of the leg, and then bend the knee so the lower leg is alongside the upper leg and the tab on the panel you opened behind the leg has pegged into the plane's tale on it's back. Turn each arm at the bicep so the orange panel faces up. Bend the arm 45 degrees at both shoulder and elbow pushing into the side of what was the leg: there's a round trough where the hinge on the wrist can sit. Fold the wings down with a tab under each slotting into what was the forearms. Fold the plane's nose forward and clip into place. Swing the tail fin up.

Silverbolt's jet mode is, as traditional, a stylised Concorde, a regular sight from my childhood back garden in south west London. In a lovely touch Silverbolt's rubber safety nose is hinged so it bends down! He's got a landing gear that fold down under the nose plus moulded, non moving, wheels under the rear of the jet in the red sections of the undercarriage. There's peg holes for his gun underneath, the hands provide 5mm peg holes on the side of each engine and there's two more under the rear of the jet should you need to tool the jet mode up.

I don't know..... as a stand alone toy Silverbolt feels like he's lacking that "something". Yes he's a jet with robot parts underneath but I was expecting that. The toy feels like there's something special missing as a stand alone unit.

Fortunately he's about to make up for that.


To transform the jet mode into Superion's Torso, strip off any weapons attached and fold up the landing gear. Fold the tail fin to the side and the jet mode back. Fold the wings up with slots on the wings meeting the fins sticking out the side of the nose which act as tabs. Pull the robot arms out to the sides and straighten, locking the elbows in place. Turn the arms at the shoulders so the point straight out the front of the jet, up in robot mode. Turn each arm so the yellow forearm panel faces the same way as the robot chest/plane underside and turn that towards you so that the arms point down and the Autobot symbol is the wrong way up. Open up what was the lower section of Silverbolt's body, anything that was bellow the red chestplate. This might prove difficult but there's holes near Silverbolt's hips you can slip a lever into to help. Fold this panel, together with Superion's head which is hidden in Silverbolt's chest, up between Silverbolt's lower legs. Rotate the head antennae forward and then fold the head back, making sure the tab at the base of the neck fits into the underside of the plane's tail. Fold the red panel with the Autobot symbol on, that was on Silverbolt's chest, up to form Superion's stomach. Slide each of the red panels towards the middle of the robot locking together to form Superion's chest. Fold the black panels on the sides of Superion's shoulders down to expose the shoulder combining sockets. Slide four deluxe limbs into place to complete the combination.

I think, given the updated case pictures from SDCC 2014 that showed a slightly distressed Superion, that I was expecting a floppy mess that went to pieces if you look at it wrong. Boy was I incorrect! Superion's torso is as solid as a brick. The genius here, that I'm not sure we've previously seen in a combiner core, is that the central robot is upside down in combined mode with the legs forming the body and the arms the combined robot legs. The smaller robot elbows, which might have been a liability here, are securely locked off. Superion provides a turning head, turning hips (ratcheted) that also move out to the sides (ratcheted) and a redundant upper thigh swivel. The limbs give you Shoulder, bicep, elbow, wrist, thigh, knee and ankle articulation. He stands pretty solidly when combined: I had him stood on the desk, with 2013 Legends Prime on his shoulders, I was rocking the desk and Prime wasn't falling off nor was Superion falling over. Articulation is great but if your robot can't maintain an upright pose it's worth diddly squat. Superion can stand up straight AND has articulation.

We have most of Superion's limbs at the launch of the range all of whom, like Silverbolt, have yellow flashes on their packaging to indicate they're Aerialbots: Alpha Bravo, Skydive and Firefly are in Wave 1 with Air Raid a remould of Firefly, following in Wave 2. So you can make a pretty decent Superion using those three with Dragstrip acting as a substitute, and for my preference serving as a leg with Alpha Bravo while Firefly & Skydive form the limbs. Powerglide is capable of forming an extra weapon for Superion, in addition to Silverbolt's gun, but is in no way essential. There's plenty of peg holes on the jets to get them to take their individual weapons with another on top of Superion's guns if you have a spare.

Superion looks the part too: they've nailed the essential features dead on here, no complaints at all concerning the likeness. My only issue is the head antennae: for safety reasons they're made of rubbery plastic. The bend VERY easily and I'm not sure I see them lasting forever. In addition one of mine sticks about 1mm short of it's target and won't lock into place on the combine mode. Opening the head up to investigate may be in order.

Silverbolt himself is the opposite to Prime for me: Voyager is OK but the combined robot Torso is miles better than Prime's. Legs that as a default point straight down is a good start!

Big statement time: I think the combined robot is one of the best toys Hasbro have made for a long long time and THE best combiner they've EVER made. It ticks all the boxes, it works, and Combiner Wars toys are just so fun to play with.

Buy Silverbolt and his friends. You NEED these toys in your collection.

Future Repaints and Add Ons

There's two obvious routes I could see Hasbro going down for repaints here: The first is obvious Generation 2 Superion. I'd not be surprised to see this as this year's SDCC boxset. The other is as a Decepticon Jet combiner, either using the original jet line up, the Predators or as Destron Sixwing.

Generations Combiner Wars Optimus Prime

Generations Combiner Wars Optimus Prime

When Optimus Prime was unveiled at Botcon 2014 he wasn't met with a lot of enthusiasm. But this was a toy with a secret which was revealed at San Diego Comic Con 2014 a few weeks later: Optimus was the core of a combining robot and indeed would be remoulded to form Motormaster.

Optimus isn't a stranger to combination over the years but generally his combinations fall into two types: combining with his trailer and combining with another robot.

Combining with his trailer pre-dates Transformers itself when Optimus Prime's ancestor Battle Convoy received a new trailer he could combine with Powered Convoy which in turn became the Transformer Ultra Magnus. Optimus' first new incarnation Powermaster Optimus Prime combined with his trailer as did the Optimus Primes from Robots in Disguise, Armada and Cybertron. A similar idea is used by the Victory Autobot leader Star Saber who is in no way shape or form Powermaster Optimus Prime but done as a jet!

The first Optimus Prime that could combine with another robot was the Japanese version of Powermaster Optimus Prime, Super Ginrai, who could combine with God Bomber to form God Ginrai. Star Saber could combine with Victory Leo to form Victory Saber. RID Optimus Prime combined with RID Ultra Magnus (Ultra Magnus' Japanese name God Magnus is a homage to both the original Ultra Magnus and the combining with Powermaster Optimus Prime God Bomber). All three Unicron Trilogy Optimus have a combining element: Armada Optimus combines with both Jetfire and/or Overload, Energon Optimus combines with either Omega Supreme or Wing Saber and Cybertron Optimus combine with either Leo Breaker or Cybertron Wing Saber. Even the Movie series has had a go at the idea with Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime combining with Jetfire.

But you say combining to Transformers fans and one thing instantly springs to mind: the Scramble City/Special team style of combining with 4 smaller robots forming the limbs to a body formed from a larger robot. Transformers has tried many other styles of combining and this is the one fans keep coming back to: the first combination system, as opposed to combining robot, used in the Transformers line. Transformers has returned to the idea more than once, notably with Energon's three combiners made of 4 basics and a deluxe but it didn't involve Optimus Prime. The closest Optimus has got to it was the Energon version which came with four drones that could be attached to Optimus to form a larger robot. Transformers fans, being traditionalists, didn't like it because, like Power Core Combiners the limb drones didn't transform into robots. Power Core didn't have an Optimus though you can argue that Smolder is meant to be one while Crankcase is all but a Nemesis Prime. Another close call is Cybertron Optimus Prime who is designed to have interchangeable add on arms. It's a great idea spoilt by only just one toy, the aforementioned Leobreaker, being released that took advantage of being able to combine with Optimus in this way. I'd have loved to have seen more Voyagers that combined with Prime in this way.

There is one other toy we should probably look at when talking about combiners & Optimus Prime and that's the Protectorbot leader Hotspot. If Hotspot were the natural cxolour for a fire engine, red, then he'd look at lot like Optimus Prime. Their head's are *very* similar. Have a look at Hotspot's repaint Fire Chief and you can see the resemblance, it's just a shame the chest is now orange and some of the blue has inexplicably remained. Was Hotspot meant to be a Fire Engine Optimus in it's original Diaclone form? We will never know.

So there's no previous Optimus Prime that acts as the core of a multi bot combining toy. However that's now changed with the Combiner Wars Voyager toy,

There's very little clues in his stock photos that Optimus is a combiner, though there are some pieces which if we'd looked carefully at at the time might have caused us to ask some questions, especially as we knew that Superion and other combiners were on the table for 2015. In retrospect it's quite a clever trick by Hasbro revealing the toy but not telling us everything about it at the time. What we know about it's combining ability comes from one not very clear picture and by inference from his remould Motormaster and Motormaster's combined form Menasor. Optimus Transforms by the front windows of his cab and first third of the cab sides splitting in two and folding back to form the shoulders. These are folded back against the middle third of the cab, with the exhaust pipes and the remaining cab third on his back. Now look at Menasor. There's the cab windows and exhaust pipes on his chest: so the front of the combined mode is the back of the robot mode. What of the last third of the cab? Well on Menasor that appears to be opened out across the chest and the car chest plate inserted into it. Sure enough a peak at Motormaster's vehicle mode and Optimus vehicle mode reveal hinges on the side of the vehicle and a split down the back of the cab to allow it to open out. Within, I suspect, is housed the combined mode head and perhaps the feet/hands. There's also some hatches on the robot mode legs that seemingly serve no function: they might also hide combiner parts. But if you look again at Motormaster's vehicle mode there's something attached to the back of the cab that looks like the combined mode waist plate. Sure enough Optimus has a piece there too which I can't see used on the robot mode. Finally Motormaster's weapons merge to become his combined mode sword: a look at Optimus' weapons makes it obvious that they too fit together to form a larger gun.

Lots of pictures of Menasor and Superion emerged, including a nice set of in hand pictures of the Aerialbots but we had to wait until the fiorst weekend of Decembver 2015 to see more of Optimus when he was shown at a Singapore Toy Event and then the combined mode was finally unveiled followed by an in hand gallery from Taiwanese blogger Blacklai.

The Optimus toy vehicle mode is, for the most part, quite traditional. He's a flat fronted truck, like the original Optimus Prime. The cab is red, the flatbed is blue with two wheels at the back and one at the front on each side so we've got the basics right. A lot of the front of the vehicle is made from two types of grey plastic, withthe window units being painted over. I think moulding the lighter grey in red would have worked better or at least applying red paint along the top of the front window and round the wide windows whichare themselves unpainted. There's painted windows on the back of the cab too, a feature similar to those on Cybertron Optimus Prime. These have a blue panel folded up in front of them. On top of the the flatbed is a trailer hitch/engine with pipes sticking out the back - this is formed from his robot mode guns. There's a 5mm hole on the back of the flat bed witha pair of tabs down each side, this matches the holes that the guns have been inserted into and the 5mm pegs with slots down the sides that form the handles.

To transform: remove the trailer hitch/guns. Fold the lower legs, formed from the flatbed, waist & upper legs, which are hidden inside the cab, down under the cab and fold his feet out. Again they're grey when maybe they should have been another colour, in this case blue. Customisers will have a field day touching this toy up! Fold the blue panel down onto his bottom. Pull the bottom of rear sides of the cab away and fold forward, then split the front of the cab down the windows. Pull out to the sides to form the arms rotating the arm round at the bicep so the wheels and side panel are on the outer edge of each arm and facing forward. Fold his head out of the top of the cab, the panel with the Autobot symbol on swings from side to side around a central pivot, and place a gun in each hand.

This Optimus is a bulky robot with large forearms somewhat reminiscent of Combat Hero Optimus Prime, thought sadly without the lightpipe feature that toy had. The panels on the side of the arms are inevitable reminiscent of Classics Prime but they work a lot better here almost forming a unit with the rest of the arm surrounding the cab's front wheels inside the forearm. If you'd like a thinner Optimus arm then fold the panels down under the arm: it presents a better profile from the front but looks a little odd when you raise the arms. The proportions look a little odd with the arms seeming too long, most of which is down to the grill of the cab forming the upper arm, but the legs and especially the body are a little too short too adding to the problem. No one piece is 100% to blame here but the result is the hands are around the level of his knees when his arms are hanging straight down instead of being around up/mid thigh level.

Articulation is good: the head turns, the shoulders turn and the arms can be raised to the sides. There's a bicep swivel and a bending elbow on each arm but nothing at the wrist, save for some upwards movement as part of a transformation we'll come to shortly. He has a waist, a universal joint at each hip, a thigh swivel and a bending knee as well as a bending ankle as part of the transformation. It's OK, but you feel a Voyager should have wrists swivels.

He comes with two guns, reminiscent of Powermaster Prime but in this case they're not identical. One picks up many design queues from the original Optimus gun including the butt and barrel while adding extra detail such as a 5mm peg hole on the top and another in the end of the barrel. The second gun, a new design, also has a 5mm peg hole on the top and a 5mm peg sticking out the back. Both have long 5mm handles, necessary to reach he peg hole in his fist and take into account the drop between the top of the arm and the top of the fist. Awkwardly they expose that the guns are made of red plastic instead of the black they're coloured: why not just cast them in black plastic? Sensing that the longer handles may be prone to snappin Hasbro has had a metal pin run up the centre of them to strengthen them, a step also applied to Prime's exhaust pipes behind the cab.

As a toy by itself Prime homages a lot of earlier designs but is subject to a few criticisms. But we're not done yet. Oh no.

Ultra Prime

To transform Optimus Prime into Ultra Prime's torso mode rotate each arm out to the sides at the bicep joint and turn till they face backwards. Bend each arm back at each elbow so what was the outside halves in robot mode are facing each other and are pointing upwards along what was the robot's front. In this position they slot and tab into place. Fold the hands up to expose the shoulder combination sockets. Fold each leg out to the side at the hips each at about a 45 degree angle to where they usually are. Rotate the thigh swivel 90 degrees so what was the inside of the leg faces fowards. Rotate the waist 180 degrees so the insides of the legs, where the grey panels are, are on the same side as what was the robot's back, which is now the combined robot front. Bend the knees so that the lower legs aproximately point straight down, but are actually slightly pointing toward each toher. Fold the grey panels up so the slots on the front of them meet the tabs on the upper legs locking the robot's knee joint in position. Fold the robot head down. Open the chest. Swing up the combined robot head bringing the grey panel it's attached to up to form thebase of the neck aand the top of the chest. Close the chest doors.

Slide Combiner wars deluxe limbs in to the sockets on the front of the legs and the tops of the arms. Peg Prime's guns together and place into the 5mm peg hole on either of the combined robot's hands.

Given that we're attaching all sort of other robots as limbs, the body needs to scream Optimus loudly to get over what this toy is. The head is definitely Prime with ear antenae so huge they beat even the previous winner, the much derided Optimus Maximus. The chest is red with larger blue windows so I's say we've got the basic details covered here. Like the smaller robot Optimus' comibined robot look is also reminiscent of other toys, with the chest reminding me of both God Ginrai and Star Convoy.

The chest itself opens up, revealing a matrix detail inspired by the Movie scene and copied on many other toys but here it's especially reminiscent of Energon Optimus Prime. Bellow it are two 5mm pegs in a 3 pronged cross shape which presumably allow Blackjack to be attached in the Menasor version of the toy. I'd lay money on that Blackjack getting a blue repaint as Roller for Optimus. In the meantime it leaves Optimus with Nipple attachment points, which guarantees him an entry into the X-rated Transformers pantheon, and I'm sure we'll soon seen picture with all manner of transformers Minicons/Microns attached. With some ingenuity several of the other Legends figures can also be attached as chest plates

Most of his articulation has been locked off for the combined mode torso but you can still turn the waist and head and have full use of the hips. Shoulder, bicep, elbow, wrist, knee and ankle articulation is provided by whichever limbs you've used and is the same on the selection of limbs I currently have: For a combined robot that's decent articulation.

I'm not so keen on the bent back fist sitting on the shoulders of the toy but it's not the first time this has happened with a combined toy: depending on how you position him Abominus has the same problem. Since the hands have the 5mm peg hole at the bottom facing up you might as well use them and raid your 5mm peg weapons box to tool Prime up with some shoulder cannons.

I've seen a lot of people saying "this is just a retooled Motormaster" and "why is there an Optimus Prime in the Combiner Wars line?". I like this toy. A lot. It does something new with Optimus we've not seen before. It challenges the established combiners play pattern by making a torso with no official robots that combine with him, you just attach any toy you want, but there's a lot of people out there not coping well with this idea at all who are fixed that A + B + C + D + E = Z in combiner terms. Personally I'd have been happy with an entire line of toys like this. EVERY Deluxe and Voyager is a combiner component and you put them together however you want, but I can see that being a step waaaaaay too far for many old school Transformers fans. Interestingly the coverage at SDCC boasted "16 deluxe and 6 Voyagers for 2015" which means that there's FOUR teams of four Deluxe limbs plus a Voyager body plus two extra Voyagers. Optimus is one, who's the other? We suspect that the other two team Voyagers are Hotspot and Onslaught and they might share a mould so possibly the sixth Voyager will be a Silverbolt repaint? Personally I think Hasbro may have shot themselves in the foot by doing a 2015 Megatron Tank as a Leader: I'd have loved a Megatron tank combining core and you could easily have got a Bludgeon repaint out of it. Of course if Hotspot is his traditional blue they could repaint that in red as a Fire Engine Optimus in homage to Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime/Car Robots Super Fire Convoy.

Optimus isn't without his faults: The stickers on the shoulders on mine are slightly lopsided. Being unable to position the legs pointing straight down is a problem in combined mode: you're having to position them slightly pointing in and relying on the lower legs touching each other keeping the legs the correct distance apart which in turn places the thigh plates under an amount of tension and causes them to pop off if you move it. That in turn affects the combined toy's balance: please don't get me wrong, it's got pretty decent balance, but Superion's is so much better: I had Superion stood on the desk, with 2013 Legends Optimus stood on Superion's shoulders, I was shaking the desk and Superion wasn't falling over. There's several pieces here that I'd have a different colour: Combined neck plate & matrix and front window panels should be red, not grey, fists & feet should be cast in blue plastic and guns in black plastic.

Voyager figure: Very good, much much better than people thought it would be. Combined figure: decent but Superion is so much better!

Future Repaints and Add Ons

Already slated to be remoulded as Motormaster I see no reason why this toy shouldn't return again as Ultra Magnus (is a repaint of this toy at the heart of the much rumoured Leader Magnus?) and Scourge. The Motormaster remould could be redone as his unreleased Generation 2 variant, recently glimpsed at auction.

As I said above I'd lay money on Menasor's Blackjack being repainted in blue as Roller for this toy.

I had said I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the Combiner Wars limb bots being repainted as 1984/5 Autobots to accompany Optimus, with Dragstrip as Mirage is an obvious one, and sure enough Wal*Mart's computer has leaked the names of four toys that look like they fit this bill: Mirage, Sunstreaker, Ironhide & Prowl

Energon Optimus Prime offers some intriguing possibilities: We've already got a Helicopter limb in Alpha Bravo, how about making Fire Engine, Sub & Drill Tank limbs to homage Energon Optimus? The Drill Tank could almost certainly be reused as Nosecone and Drillhorn as well as effectively being an upgrade for Rescue Force Mole. A new version of Energon Wing Sabre would go nicely with this toy too.

Cybertron could give us Leobreaker which would be a useful mould if Hasbro went down the Predaking route with this combiner system and I see no reason why they shouldn't.

There's plenty of scope for doing things with this Optimus for some while yet. If Hasbro don't I can see third party companies eagerly stepping in.