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.
|Showing some leg|
My 3rd Party show exclusive Mastermind Creations Reformatted R-08S Stealth Azalea came with the internal knee mechanism reversed on the left leg, meaning the leg could not properly fold over fully to make the vehicle mode. Having paid what I did, and having bought it specifically to display in vehicle mode (it reminds me of the Sony PlayStation Wipeout 2097 vehicles I love so much), this was not a situation I could tolerate. Mercifully, MMC being the customer service angels they are, just wanted some images or video of the issue and they agreed to send me a completely new Stealth Azalea leg. It was duly attached and the figure can shine in its true glory now, fully appreciated by its new owner. Me.
BadCube's Brawny was sent to me as a review sample with a broken metal strip on the back of the crotch plate, meaning that the left leg didn't ratchet properly and was therefore slightly loose. I was asked to wait until customers received theirs and once more of the same issues arose for others, BadCube were able to get a batch sorted for replacements and mine arrived today. It's transformed Brawny into a different figure, one that actually feels fresh out of the box again. What a difference a stiff crotch makes.
Masterpiece Bumblebee could be the very best Masterpiece Transformer of all. I even took out his Exo-suit Spike 'accessory' and enjoyed that today for the first time. It's official, every single part of this release is brilliant. Except the face, I still believe they missed the mark with it. That is why the Amazon JP exclusive battle mask, making Bumblebee G1 toy accurate, was such an essential add-on I had to pay for with my pre-order at TFSource. Had I not emailed them immediately once notification was received, I wouldn't have been able to upgrade to a battle mask release. Apparently I missed the boat for Wheeljack and had to buy the extra hypno-lunchbox accessory separately that time, a pain in the ass.
Anyway, once in hand, the mask upgraded it from a superb toy with an excellent transformation, to a superb LOOKING toy in every mode with an excellent transformation. Then one tiny misstep in the transformation and he had a bad scratch on the mouthplate right down the centre. It was so ironically placed that it looked like he had a little mouth on the plate. I couldn't get over this, having ruined an essential part of what was endearing the figure so much to me. Cue eBay and the purchase of a battle mask from Asia for almost £10, taking my spend on Bumblebee way higher than what it ever should have been after shipping from the US. It's here now, and once again Bee looks perfect.
Fine, now that they're fixed up, they look as they were meant to and can be appreciated as the exceptional figures that they are. However, the whole experience of getting important and expensive Transformers or 3rd Party items is becoming a little diluted with pre-order madness, replacement parts for defective bits, having to disassemble figures to make adjustments or repairs and the finish not being quite there in terms of durability on some toys. I felt that getting 3 packages in the mail from 3 different sources - with none of them actually being a figure in entirety - nicely summed up a lot of negative talking points about collecting modern and high end figures in 2014.
Better to end on a positive note though, so to all my followers and readers, thank you so much for reading, for all your continuing support, feedback and for sharing my work where you have deemed it worthy. A very happy new year to you all. I hope 2015 brings you all many steps closer to your dreams and aspirations, is memorable for the right reasons, and involves the continued, delightful amassing of Transformers!
All the best