Botbot of the Day

Good Things: Botbot of the Day!

Hello and welcome to the Dragon Fortress! Today I’m kicking off a new feature called Good Things. It’s pretty simple– I’ll interview someone whose work I like, and it will almost always be toy related.

For our first installment, I’m talking to Jason, who runs the Botbot of the Day! account on Twitter.

Jason posts beautiful and energetic photos of Botbots every single day. And his captions for each Botbot are both hilarious and incredible! Here’s an example of something you might see on his Twitter account.

Botbot of the Day

Jason posts something at least this good every single day, and each of his Botbot profiles make me happy in a way that few other things do.

I enjoy the way he takes the lighter side of Transformers seriously, as far as writing level and photographic composition go, but also remembers that his subject matter is silly as heck.

I’m excited for you to get to know Jason if you don’t already.

So please read on for  our full interview and plenty of fun photos!

Continue reading “Good Things: Botbot of the Day!”

Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Worlds Collide Blackarachnia

Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Worlds Collide Blackarachnia (Original Toy Colors)

Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Worlds Collide Blackarachnia

Last week, my good friend Pat sent me a big box in the mail. It was the new Target exclusive Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Worlds Collide (ugh, I hate typing that) four pack, minus Fangry and Bumblebee. Which is perfect for me, since I only wanted the Beast Wars themed figures in the pack. He also sent me the entire-ass box, which was quite a flex.

If you don’t know Pat, he wrote my favorite post that’s ever been published on this website. He also helped me review a Batman toy from 1992.

Pat and I go way back and he is one of my dearest friends on the entire planet. So, thanks Pat! I also haven’t really been buying toys lately, so this was an extra nice surprise.

I was fiddling around with the Blackarachnia from this box set and noticed she inspired me to take a lot of photos. And that I just couldn’t put the toy down. So I figured I’d better write something about the figure, and compare it to both the original Beast Wars Blackarachnia from 1996 and the Kingdom Blackarachnia from 2020.

It’ll be fun, I promise.

Continue reading “Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Worlds Collide Blackarachnia (Original Toy Colors)”

1997 Transformers Beast Wars Claw Jaw

1997 Transformers Beast Wars Claw Jaw Review

1997 Transformers Beast Wars Claw Jaw

Hello and welcome back. Today we’re looking at a Beast Wars toy.

Beast Wars is one of my favorite toy lines ever, so it’s funny that this is only the third proper BW figure I’ve reviewed on this site, alongside some Happy Meal toys. I guess GI Joes are just easier for me to photograph. I am pretty pleased with how most of the photos in the post turned out, though. Some of them were maybe overly ambitious, but I’d rather try something cool and not quite pull it off than always do the same old thing. 

So let’s look at 1997 Transformers Beast Wars Claw Jaw, a Basic Class Maximal that Hasbro released under the Kenner brand. 

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1998 Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals McDonald's Happy Meal Toys

1998 Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

That’s a hell of a title, wouldn’t you agree? But sometimes when multiple brands get involved with a cheap piece of plastic, there are layers upon layers. These are McDonald’s toys, which are Happy Meal toys. These are Beast Wars toys, which are Transformers toys. These are Transmetals, which are Beast Wars toys. It’s like an onion before it gets chopped and dehydrated into McDonald’s flavor crystals. 

Surprisingly, my Beast Machines Happy Meal Toy review is one of the most enduring and popular posts on this entire website. That means y’all like transforming fast food toys. So I’m happy to give you more. Today, we’ll be taking a look at McDonald’s second try at the Transformers Beast Era. 

So, say it with me– it’s time for 1998 Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys. 

Continue reading “1998 Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys”

1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers

1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers Review

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from my good friend Video Dracula, whose work you can find on Instagram and Twitter. His writing about Transformers from many eras, and the accompany photographs, are quite stunning and brilliantly formatted. Give him a follow on Instagram if you like this review!)

Review and Photos by Video Dracula

Hi, I’m Dracula! You may remember me from such films as The Monster Squad and Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolf Man. These days I mostly post on Instagram about Transformers. 

So let’s talk about Transformers. Specifically, let’s talk about Transformers: Generation 2, the grungy younger brother of the original Transformers line (which only got its G1 moniker thanks to the titling of the second generation, believe or don’t). Now Mr. The Dragon Fortress and I both grew up around the same time, experiencing a little bit of the 1980s and all of the 1990s. The 90s was a lean time to be a budding Transformers fan. All of the characters I loved from my scavenged comic books and rented VHS tapes were long off the shelves, only accessible via luck of the draw at yard sales and thrift shops. 

Continue reading “1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers Review”

Transformers Repro Accessories

Fun with Transformers Repro Parts (and 6 Russian Funskool GI Joe figures)

Russian Funskool GI Joe

Today we’re keeping it casual at The Dragon Fortress. 

I’ve updated the site with six (6!!) in-depth, dedicated pages for Russian Funskool GI Joe figures. Hopefully you find it useful and enjoyable. 

We’re also taking a look at some amazing Transformers repro accessories a friend made for me. 

Kick back and relax. 

Continue reading “Fun with Transformers Repro Parts (and 6 Russian Funskool GI Joe figures)”

1998 Transformers Beast Wars II Max-B

1998 Transformers Beast Wars II Max-B Review

1998 Transformers Beast Wars II Max-B

A couple weeks ago, I ran a Twitter poll asking my readers what they’d rather see for my next review– a “weird” Beast Wars toy or a Kenner-style DC toy. The BW figure won. Thanks to all 32 of you who voted. 

When it comes to “weird,” Beast Wars has plenty to choose from. It was a bizarre, high-concept toy line that took a ton of chances and commonly veered into what we might consider “abstract” or “avant-garde,” at least as far as action figures targeted at 7-12 year olds go. In that regard, it’s only rivaled by Hasbro’s Batman Beyond toy line. 

I really wanted to lean into the “weird” aspect, and it doesn’t get much weirder than Takara’s Cyborg Beasts figures. These Japanese exclusives took four deluxe Beast Wars molds (Cybershark, Dinobot, Waspinator, and K-9) and infused their beast modes with crazy robot augmentations. The general weirdness also carried over into robot mode. 

Consider today’s subject, 1998 Transformers Beast Wars II Max-B, who is a cyborg German Shepherd with wolf-colored fur. 

In Mainframe’s Beast Wars cartoon, the characters were robots who combined their mechanical parts with organic parts, resulting in a biomechanical amalgamation that was mostly robot-based. For a cyborg beast, you have the robot augmented with biological animal parts (already kind of a cyborg), and then you add mechanical parts on top of the organic animal parts. So you’re basically left with a double cyborg, and in an entirely different way than what you saw with either Transmetals I or II. It’s a lot to take in, and it’s a lot different than what any other toy line was doing at the time. 

Let’s get weird with 1998 Transformers Beast Wars II Max-B. 

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1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons and Bruticus Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

This is another huge review, with 6000+ words and around 60 photos. But it has to be big because we’re looking at the biggest, baddest dudicus to ever be a metamorphing Bruticus. 

Today I’m joined by my friend Dial H, who runs Dial H for Houston. If you enjoy pulpy science fiction, fantasy, and alternate history novels, check out his website immediately. He writes fun, funny, and snappy reviews of all sorts of books you’ve never heard of. His site has personally encouraged me to order a few books for The Pile. 

Dial H was nice enough to supply both photos and commentary for G2 Bruticus, as I am both missing some of the toy’s accessories and missing all of Dial H’s life experiences and insights. This is a toy that’s notoriously hard to complete, as parts and pieces almost never pop up on the secondary market. 

So we’ve united into our own ragtag combiner force to bring you this review. Dial H is going to bring you a definitive ranking for each member of the team, but I cannot bring myself to choose favorites among my brightly colored 90s children. I do mostly agree with his rankings, though. 

I’ll let Dial H kick things off. 

Continue reading “1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons and Bruticus Review”