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  • Journey beyond the cardboard…

    Welcome to Brown Box Reviews! What you'll find here are primarily reviews of toys, collectibles, children's playthings, or what have you. Perhaps something on this site interests you! You might even find something useful! Either way, I hope you like colored plastic. Lots and lots of colored plastic.
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Retro Review: Transformers Armada Nemesis Prime

As a Transformers fan in his early twenties, Generation 1 for me was 2003’s Transformers Armada, a sometimes-shoddy dub of the Micron Legend anime that served as the first installment of the infamous Unicron Trilogy that headlined the franchise for the first half of the 2000s. Armada is usually remembered for its Pokemon-esque premise (gotta … Continue reading

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Review: Transformers Titans Return Megatron

The character of Megatron seems to be in a very interesting state in the current Transformers franchise. In the latest film he was “reborn” as/replaced with Galvatron, in IDW he’s an Autobot and on a quest for redemption, and in the Aligned continuity he’s just sort of gone. Even with his reappearance in The Last … Continue reading

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Review: Transformers Titans Return Optimus Prime

I’ve mentioned before how Hasbro has gotten very good at making retools of their toys. They’ve also gotten very good at getting us to buy them. Combiner Wars was the first indicator of this, where Optimus Prime and Alpha Bravo came out well before the characters whom they were designed to be, Motormaster and Vortex. … Continue reading

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Review: Transformers Titans Return Triggerhappy

There are a lot of Transformers characters. Most of them are pretty cool. Some of them are really, really stupid. This is Triggerhappy. His name is Triggerhappy. His motto is “Have gun, have fun!” His official backstory is that he had a hoverboard incident in Decepticon boot camp that gave him permanent brain damage, so … Continue reading

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Review: Star Wars Black Series Director Krennic

A lot of people forget this, but Darth Vader wasn’t the main antagonist of the original Star Wars, it was Grand Moff Tarkin. Vader stood around, killed a guy or two, and looked scary, but Tarkin, the stuffy old British guy, was the one calling all the shots. It looks like Rogue One will be … Continue reading

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Review: Star Wars Black Series Imperial Hovertank Pilot

Of all the endless variants of Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers, the absolute least interesting to me have always been the pilots. TIE pilots, AT-AT drivers, clone pilots, and everything in between. Not only do they generally have uninteresting designs, I never much saw the point in displaying them outside of the vehicle they’re meant to … Continue reading

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Review: Transformers Titans Return Hot Rod

Hot Rod, or Rodimus if you prefer, is one of those Transformers characters who has gone a very long time without a good toy. The first update he got was the Classics figure in 2006, which wasn’t bad for its time, but has aged horribly. The Titanium figure is best left undiscussed, and his first … Continue reading

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Review: Transformers Titans Return Brainstorm

Hasbro has the art of mold reuse mastered these days. 2014’s Generations Springer and Sandstorm are generally regarded as the first “modern” retools that demonstrated just how much modern retooling could accomplish, and since then retools have gone from simple color-and-head swaps to in-depth part remolding, even going so far as to engineer in parts … Continue reading

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Review: Transformers Titans Return Mindwipe

As we continue our trek through the world of bottom-of-the-barrel characters from the 1987 Transformers lineup, we come to one of my favorite characterizations of the classic Headmasters. It’s common for Transformers characters to be super powered, unique, and totally badass; Skywarp can teleport, Soundwave has his minions, Mirage can turn invisible, and so one … Continue reading

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Review: Transformers Adventure (RID) Ratchet

Despite keeping up with it faithfully for its entire three-season run, I have to say that Transformers: Prime is one of the most disappointing series in the franchise. It began incredibly strong with great production quality and loads of potential, and then very quickly proceeded to waste its potential and stagnate for the majority of … Continue reading