Body parts for Transformers and 3rd party items that had defective/damaged bits, how does that become a reflection of the state of high end Transformers collecting in today's hobby? This was just supposed to be a quirky post about my last new arrivals of 2014, and how I had three parcels, none of which contained a proper Transformers toy, but instead contained one leg, one crotch and one face. The leg and crotch were factory defects on 3rd party items that needed replacing and the companies responsible duly obliged, and the face was a replacement purchase for something I damaged on a Masterpiece toy that was part of a pre-order incentive. Quality control, customer service, pre-order prices/availability, all issues that can make or break purchases and enjoyment of Transformers.
Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Monday, 29 December 2014
I just wrote a review of my Christmas present, Hasbro MP-05 Masterpiece Sunstorm, for the Toys R Us website in the hopes of winning a £50 gift card. Turns out I am the only reviewer on there that gave a TF Masterpiece toy less than 5 stars, I gave it 4 stars because I don't think it's perfect. Crap, I feel completely disloyal now. Following is my review text, adjusted for regular non-collector consumers.
Sunday, 28 December 2014
Hot on the heels of Azalea (Not Arcee), Mastermind Creations Reformatted R-08Z Zinnia - Parapax Medic - came out. In fact for a while there it seemed like every week was bringing a new Azalea colour; first Stealth, then regular, then Asterisk and finally Zinnia. Zinnia is the 3rd party repaint of Not-Arcee by MMC, based on the Paradron medic seen in the G1 Transformers episode "Fight Or Flee" on the planet Paradron. This release, I believe, was manufactured using very close to the minimum number of units to make it viable, so in theory there ought to be less of them floating about than Azalea and the like.
Saturday, 27 December 2014
Takara's 1985 G1 Megatron, designated 16, is a wonderful thing. It has no chrome and is so much noticeably heavier than its chromed Hasbro counterpart since it still retains the bullet firing mechanism. That's right, it comes with bullets. Basically, this is the Transformers release of the Micro Change Series grey MC-12 Walther P38 Gunrobo. You can see the complete lack of stock attachments, and instead the retention of MC-12's sword. The box artwork is unique, not too unlike the MC-12 artwork and nothing like the Hasbro Megatron/MC-13 UNCLE artwork. It's shown with red inner legs, but of course this version sports blue plastic.
Friday, 26 December 2014
Christmas and birthdays do not often bring me Transformers, that area of my life has always been left to me to attend to. This year, after ordering Hasbro's MP Sunstorm during a crazy TRU UK sale, it was promptly taken off me in the shipping box, wrapped and stuck under the tree. I'm glad, it added to the anticipation and appreciation. Generations Arcee was for my wife as a giggle but she loves it, Continuum Hexatron and Unique Toys Alberich are review samples that arrived yesterday or the day before, but I saved Hexatron for Christmas day. MP Bumblebee is here because he was a recent arrival and, frankly, absolutely sublime.
Thursday, 25 December 2014
Another slightly unexpected delivery from Unique Toys after the random Evasion Prime upgrade kit I received a few weeks back, it's their second Not-Abominus limb, the 3rd Party UT Terrorcon Rippersnapper, or "Alberich". The combiner itself, obviously Abominus, is called "Ordin" and the first figure was "Troll", their interpretation of Blot. The whole Ordin team seems to be named after mythical monsters, and Alberich (according to Wikipedia) "is a dwarf, who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen, but is overcome by Siegfried. News of the gold robbery and ring of power incited gods and giants alike to action". Unique Toys O-02 Alberich comes with an Ordin fist as the figure itself forms an arm. Full review and analysis, opinions etc on TFSource Blog very soon, but for now here's a pictorial of this quite charming item. Apologies for the broken accessory in the images (one of the double-barreled guns), but it did arrive that way. Not taking credit for this one!
Also, a very very Merry Christmas to all!
Tuesday, 23 December 2014
The blue version of Takara's No.5 Diaclone Car Robot Hilux 4WD is not considered one of the rarer or more desirable of the non-TF variant releases in the history of pre-Transformers. It was available first in Japan, then in Italy under GiG's umbrella as well as in North America, released as Diakron DK-3. The latter is how it tends to appear the most, either from the US or even in Finland where they were exported to. That is actually where the "Blue Trailbreaker" (named for its eventual popular release as the Autobot Trailbreaker) hails from, an R-Kioski stall in Finland, in Diakron packaging. It's a crying shame for this release that most do not consider it valuable, because finding one unused in GiG or Japanese packaging is so much harder than most would imagine. When was the last time you saw a Japanese one for sale in unused nick?
Monday, 22 December 2014
Normally it irritates the hell out of me when I finish an article topic, thinking it's definitive, only to discover something else or to have it brought to my attention. It happens a lot, there are always surprises, so why should I be surprised? I'm not, I'm also not irritated this time because I seriously love these KO Spanish minibots by Gisima, and while I haven't found a new variant (well...), there is something new to add to the "Big Reveal". What you see above are all the minis already featured in the Intro, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Finale, Reprise and Reprise 2, as well as an original Gisima store display slightly different to that featured in the previous chapters.
Sunday, 21 December 2014
Some great deals to be had in December, there always is. One of the best auctions I ever won was in Christmas week from Japan, and a very well-priced Ceji Joustra Battle Convoy on Christmas day. Not quite that order of magnitude to compare to this year, but at least the quality of the figures remains high. The Evolution 2-pack Evasion Mode Optimus Prime above, MP Bumblebee, a massively underrated Diaclone car variant, a 3rd party show exclusive that I can't believe I bought and a Megatron. A real, original, proper man's man Megatron.
Friday, 19 December 2014
By and large these days, I don't buy new Hasbro Transformers product. Animated, Human Alliance and select parts of TFP/BH aside, I tend to take a wholesale pass on mass released mainstream Transformers from anywhere in the world. Either I haven't seen the shows, or I'm after higher end stuff like Masterpiece. Powerglide above (deliberately mistransformed) is the first figure from the new Combiner Wars offerings that has inspired me to make a purchase.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
I managed to be completely underwhelmed and uninterested in Transformers Cloud - the story of Cloud World and the Transformers that live there (and SARA...seriously if you care, go here). I'm being unfair, of course, I care as much about Transformers fiction as I do the toys. Maybe even more. But, this piece is about the first TF Cloud toy to capture my attention, TFC-A03 Hot Rodimus, a Hot Rod-coloured Generations Springer, and that is in no way an over-simplification, that's exactly what this figure is. It also happens to be magnificent.
Monday, 15 December 2014
Just a quick note to inform all readers that the Hello Goodbye sales/trades page on this blog has been updated, a few items have been added like a broken and used, but boxed, Finnish Microman Browning (only the 3rd one ever seen!), as well as a black Spanish G1 KO Windcharger from Gisima (pictured above). I have also removed the Animated lot which sold on eBay, as well as marking the Diaclone Police Sideswipe as sold. I am still undecided if it is the right thing to do to advertise the price at which things have sold, but it does provide justification for my asking prices when some have expressed disbelief or cynicism. I certainly won't be mentioning the names of buyers, that amount of discretion I can be relied upon to uphold.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
This isn't the upcoming Mastermind Creations Continuum version of Terminus Hexatron, but instead the first release of the figure, Reformatted R-01 Terminus Hexatron, the 3rd party Sixshot from MMC, borrowed from UK collector Dan Ghile for comparison with the incoming Continuum version. I decided to familiarise myself with the figure before getting my own one in to save time, and the robot mode was so unbelievably good fun and engaging, I never got as far as transforming it. Or even removing the swords from the sheaths! Here are just a handful of killer poses that this rather epic figure can strike. Enjoy!
The Micro Change Series Browning is a popular and well known toy. It was also widely released throughout the world, first in Japan in two colours for Micro Change Series, then again as part of the Transformers Super God Masterforce line in 1988. In America they only got bootlegs but Europe got official pre-TF releases as part of the Ceji Joustra Diaclone line, GiG Trasformer in Italy and also as R-Kioski store exclusives in Finland. More on the European history of Browning here
Saturday, 13 December 2014
It's not just been 3rd Party stuff coming in of late, I've definitely rediscovered my love of the Transformers movie lines, and filling gaps in burgeoning collection directions has been a theme of late. In addition to the kind of toys you see int he above image - Human Alliance, Animated and Age of Extinction - you will see the most ridiculous addition so far in these posts.
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Among all the store-released Diaclone cars from around the world, Japanese, Italian, European, North American or whatever, the Finnish Diaclones are considered by many to be the toughest of all with most releases numbering less than 3 boxed specimens found. I personally believe some Ceji Joustra Diaclone wave 2 figures to be rarer as they have not even been seen before, but there are still doubts as to whether some of them saw a proper release at all. For the time being, with confirmed releases we know about, I believe the above (and below) to be a collection of the rarest production Diaclone car robots in existence, and the nearest thing we have to a picture of the complete set. Dear Truck Crane, your brothers await you.
Saturday, 6 December 2014
It seems like an eternity since I posted the FansToys FT-05 Soar (Not Swoop) pictorials and the TFSource article/review. Finally FT have shipped final production versions, and mine has arrived. I wasn't expecting it at all, so when I opened the parcel and this was staring back, my heart raced. This is a huge deal, Scoria has been my favourite release of the year so far and Soar seemed an improvement - plus it's Swoop vs Slag and that's no contest at all. FT were kind enough to let me use a Hi-res version of their packaging mock-up images for the Source Blog, but here's the in hand item.
Friday, 5 December 2014
Earlier today I posted images of DX9's "Invisible" Not Mirage amongst a sea of other Masterpiece figures, official figures, and the reaction online has been quite funny. It seems to have cemented people's views on both sides of the fence. Those that figured it would 'fit' are now adamant, and those that doubted are now certain that it won't. I wonder if the vehicle mode pictorial in Masterpiece surroundings will change anyone's mind?
The idea was that DX9 (Unique Toys) would create a Masterpiece-scaled Mirage that would adequately fill the gap in people's collections until a Takara Tomy Mirage was offered in 20-whoknowswhen. I will be producing a full review on Tuesday night for TFSource Blog, and there's a TFSquare One detailed pictorial from earlier in the week, but just for now, here are some images of Invisible with the current crop of Masterpiece cars. The first one above is of Invisible with the screen-accurate 1984 cars released thus far minus Bumblebee who I am still waiting for. Below, you will find Invisible with all the larger Masterpiece cars as well as Brawny from BadCube. As before, opinions will be reserved for Tuesday, just eye candy for now!
Thursday, 4 December 2014
Wow, so much for the One Year Project, eh? It's taken damn near most of 2014 to add another Macross figure to my collection. But what a figure! There are pros and cons to this purchase, things that make me happy and others that let me down, but considering it reads like the epitome of First World Problems Annual 2014, I think I'll focus on the figure instead of the drama. You can blame Transformers Animated, Human Alliance, 3rd Party, Masterpiece and TF Prime/Beast Hunters for the delay in additions to the Valkyrie fleet. In the meantime, they've lost absolutely none of their magic to me.
Monday, 1 December 2014
Here's a production sample of the upcoming DX9 (Unique Toys) 03 Invisible, what appears to be DX9's Masterpiece-scale G1 Mirage. From the packaging - which is actually quite lovely - you can see they've done some digging through the toy's history. The logo for "Invisible" will seem quite familiar, and you'll see why after the jump. Here is a teaser pictorial of this highly anticipated Masterpiece-style 3rd Party Mirage, in advance of a full article next week.