I'm not yet into collecting Takara's transforming watches, or the North American pre-Transformers "Kronoform" or "Diakron" lines, although if I had the budget and other priorities sorted, I would be. There are so many outstanding-looking and under-documented toys in Diakron and Kronoform packaging that it's just the kind of thing I like to sink my teeth into. However, being a self-inflicted Ceji Joustra Diaclone completist I do have to have a few watches kicking about. I have all three wave 1 "Kronoform" watch robos in black, silver and gold. What I - and pretty much 99.9999% of pre-TF collectors - don't have is the wave 2 Ceji Joustra Diaclone "Scorpion" watch. So I got the next best thing, the Kronoform version.
Saturday, 31 May 2014
Exactly what it says on the tin, a very short pictorial of all the Takara Tomy Masterpiece Cybertron Cars (Autobot Cars) we've had so far displayed alongside each other in both modes. What this serves to do is show just what the potential for this series is when we finally get to Wheeljack and Bumblebee, some actual new moulds. Before we get that far though, we'll have MP-18S, the toy-accurate G1 all silver Bluestreak. That will make it 4 - 4 between the Datsuns and the Countaches, so August and MPs 20 and 21 cannot come soon enough. Oh, MP-10 Hasbro Optimus Prime is in there too. Enjoy!
Thursday, 29 May 2014
How does one get a G1 Turbomaster Rotorstorm figure free of charge? Well certainly not how I was going about it, as you can see from Part 1 and Part 2. £26 down approximately and only just getting something worth mentioning in return. Having sourced the barest Rotorstorm body from France and traded everything else in the French job lot for Rotorstorm launchers, landing skis and 4 missiles, it was starting to look like a decent figure, but I was out nearly £30 and for that kind of money I could have gotten a complete one, maybe even a boxed one on a good day. Impatience doesn't pay in this game, but there was hope...
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Here's the story so far. After getting the junk lot in from France containing a decent G1 Turbomaster Rotorstorm body, I realised a good deal of the figures in the lot were not in best condition, so resale was going to be a problem. I still needed a set of landing skis, 4 missiles, 2 launchers and the seemingly impossible set of pink rotor blades. I was starting to flirt with the idea of just going out and buying another Rotorstorm with the bits I needed, then just selling off what I could from the current one as well as the Actionmaster Tracks, minimising the damage. Things suddenly took a turn for the better though.
Recently I experienced the G1 Turbomaster Rotorstorm toy for the very first time, from an era of Transformers that completely passed me by. To be fair, I was ignorant of the quality of toys from the 1990s and as a result missed out on one of the gems of Generation 1. I knew of Rotorstorm's rising popularity as a result of the comics featuring The Wreckers, but the toy's qualities were only made obvious to me when Colin Pringle (Specimen17) brought one out to a UK meetup a few weeks back. The toy's head sculpt and general proportions blew me away. So how did I manage to get one for free?
Monday, 26 May 2014
It's been almost 6 years since I last bought a Transformers Animated toy, but this week the deluxe Sentinel Prime that arrived reminded me once and for all just how much I love this toy line. Just recently I caught up with all the season 2 and season 3 episodes I missed, and the depth of writing, characterisation and story in the series marks it out as probably the best Transformers show I've ever seen. Sentinel Prime himself, the celebrated jerk that he is, does not disappoint.
Saturday, 24 May 2014
There's very little in the way of merchandise that I have chosen to keep throughout my Transformers collecting adventure, once the novelty has worn off it's just an item in storage that cannot be displayed with any real purpose with my figures in a Detolf where space is at a premium. One thing I have wanted for a couple of years now since learning about it, was a vintage G1 Ravage lenticular wallet. Why did I want it? Because I have the Sunstreaker/Yellow Sideswipe lenticular wallet from the same set, and that says a lot about how I've gone about my collecting down the years.
New toys! Holy crap! OK, I had to wait for an absolute bargain basement sale from Masterforce, a $5 bit of merchandise and a brilliantly cheap G1 junker lot from France, but here they are, actual new additions to my collection. The above junker lot cost more to ship from France than the auction end price, contained Turbomasters, Micromasters, Action Masters and KOs. Absolutely not my cup of tea. More on that later.
Thursday, 22 May 2014
My customs are bad, really bad. When the powers that be don't give you a police version of all the Diaclone/Autobot car moulds, it's time to take matters into your own hands. For someone like me with zero customisation, painting or kitbashing talent - but a couple of good ideas - KidKorrupt's old customs were inspiring. Granted my first custom was just a set of Reprolabels, but here is the story of FrostRod and the Rubbish Customs.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Could this be the most important toy in the history of Takara's Japanese Transformers? How is that even possible? Takara's rechargeable battery-operated "Turbo Magnum" is a small, old, vintage toy that requires the player to plug the main motorised unit into a recharging console, and then fire it off. The base unit comes with multiple interchangeable bodykits. This is actually a production sample bought from ex-Hasbro inventory, via a former employee. But what's that got to do with Transformers?
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Here we have the 1991 European "Original" Classic-era - or "Gold Box" - Optimus Prime, the first real reissue of the G1 Prime, released across Europe by Hasbro in a new packaging style. This isn't a standard one though, it was bought MISB directly from an ex-Hasbro Europe employee, responsible for signing off products such as this in their research and development division. Having never sat on a store shelf, this particular version is a production sample, possibly no different to full release, but special nonetheless.
Monday, 19 May 2014
Since I already split up my planned "IDW Comic Treasures" post by sharing the Dark Cybertron #1 sketch cover by Andrew Griffith, I may as well dedicate a very short post to this treasure as well. This is the Central Canada Comic Con (C4) Pop Culture Expo exclusive cover for IDW's Drift #4 (of 4) mini series from October 2010. What makes it extra special, apart from being a very tricky exclusive cover, is that it contains a personalised sketch from Drift and More Than Meets The Eye artist Alex Milne.
Saturday, 17 May 2014
Ignored, under-appreciated, maligned, ridiculed, misunderstood. Just some of the terms you could use to describe how Transformers GT was met by the majority of the Transformers collecting community. Unfortunately the line used a mould from Transformers Alternity that had already been massively milked for repaints, increased the price to almost unacceptable levels for even those who showed an interest, and then got released during the height of Takara Tomy's Masterpiece output. Didn't stand a bloody chance.
I tried to keep my mouth shut and save this for an upcoming "IDW comic treasures" post, but I couldn't, so here it is. This is the 1:100 variant Transformers Dark Cybertron #1 sketch cover from IDW Publishing, with a commissioned sketch by Robots In Disguise regular artist Andrew Griffith.
Friday, 16 May 2014
The new Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction theatrical trailer saw release today, so why not focus on some Movie toys? Seven years ago, the 2007 Transformers feature film was new, and the week it saw release in the US was the same week I met my future wife in New York City. It was on the way back from BotCon 2007 and that film's release was inextricably linked to that week where I met her. As we continued to see each other, I bought her gifts, as you do, and as a joke I bought her the above two movie toys from the UK to remember me by as we lived in different countries at the time. Having finally dug them out again on a recent trip back home, they have now been lovingly adopted by my daughter into her growing - and frightening - collection of Transformers.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
No, that's Jetfire, but why is Hot Rod (or Hot Rodimus) a contender? Maybe it's the significance his character has in the Transformers cartoon and comic mythos, especially the animated 1986 feature. Maybe it's because it's one of the first properly 'new' moulds that Hasbro put out as a Transformers toy of any importance, having never been used for Takara's Diaclone or MC lines, or any of the other pre-TF lines where some toys hail from. Or is it because as far as G1 toys go, it's one of the best? More likely I'm writing this because of today's More Than Meets The Eye #29. Yeah, you know why.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
I may not have sold much recently (not for a lack of trying) but the one item that I have sold has been a big deal. There are only about 10 people worldwide who can claim the honour of owning a Finnish Diaclone 'Black Tracks' Corvette Stingray, so I have been incredibly fortunate to have had two at the same time. I bought the second broken one loose to try and upgrade the damaged parts on mine. Alas, virtually everything on mine was in better condition anyway, so it ended up being a loose display extra of the absolute highest quality. Eventually though, circumstances and priorities won out, and it got sold. Good, no one collector should have two of these when so many don't even have one.
Monday, 12 May 2014
When you focus on obscure or bizarre Transformers and pre-Transformers, you can lose sight of the reason why you started collecting in the first place. Or maybe you don't and I'm just rubbish at this collecting stuff. Anyway, a few people (*cough* Paul *cough*) have told me the key to Transformers collecting happiness and contentment for me would be a complete run of 1984 / 1985 Autobots and Decepticons - just loose reissues where possible - and that would remind me of what I love the most. The thing is, I keep saying that I already basically have 1984 sorted, but not exactly as they suggested.
Sunday, 11 May 2014
After the first quarter of 2014, it looked as though the one year project to complete an entire vintage and reissue 1/55 Macross Valkyrie collection was highly possible and well ahead of schedule. But, no real additions to the collection in March, April and May due to other priorities have meant that what I had in March, is exactly what I still have now. The only difference is, I finally got everything out for some serious group photography.
Saturday, 10 May 2014
A quick pictorial tonight looking at all of the IDW Transformers More Than Meets The Eye cover variants, and all the covers from the crossover "Dark Cybertron" that took place between seasons 1 and 2 of More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise. What was not quick was the setting up of these photographs and the number of times I nearly fell off the chair and flat on my face trying to get some elevation for the camera!
Friday, 9 May 2014
Long time no new toys, and I still haven't bought anything. So step in the wonderful Mr JB Martin to send me a timely box of 3 unused loose reissue Commemorative Series Autobot cars. Just in time for my upcoming birthday, I can't even put into words how happy this package made me when I opened it yesterday, so unexpected it was, and such a hole they fill from all the G1 car-based Diaclones I have sold recently, leaving me with virtually no representation for these toys.
Thursday, 8 May 2014
Binaltech was one of the best Transformers lines we've ever had. The attention to detail was above and beyond what we knew or deserved, from the accurate and faithfully reproduced real world vehicles in 1:24 scale to the G1-inspired robot modes and character choices we'd been screaming out for. Takara delivered up a series of die-cast deities with paint jobs to simply die for, highly detailed and collectible file cards and instruction booklets. So how is it that a release that does none of those things, namely the E-Hobby exclusive colourless clear all-plastic BT-18 "Rijie", could be a contender for best Binaltech?
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
You will not find a Transformers enthusiast or collector in the world who would label Thundercracker as ugly, or anything but beautiful. From its glittery deep blue, offset majestically by that translucent orange canopy. This is a special figure, for so many reasons, using one of the most recognisable Transformers moulds in the history of the brand, the F15 Eagle. This particular Thundercracker, I believe, is among the first Transformers to ever be sold anywhere in the world.
Monday, 5 May 2014
Had enough of KO Spanish minibots? Well hold on for just one more installment for now as this is the last variant I'm able to source, no more on the horizon for the time being. Inverse colour schemes are evident throughout Gisima's range of vintage bootleg Beachcombers, Windchargers and Seasprays that were released throughout Spain in the late 80s and early 90s. Our final Spanish mini is one of the most interesting as it's another of the highly re-tooled Seaspray variety.
Peruvian G1 minibot variants were released by Lynsa and are regarded as some of the rarest licensed G1 variants in the world. High three figure values are not beyond the realms of possibility, depending on the figure and condition. There was apparently a case find of sealed Peruvian Huffers in the last 2 years because a few of these found their way into the marketplace. What you see above is a sealed (barely!) red and yellow variant Huffer. He was available in blue/yellow and peach/yellow as well in Peru, the latter being the least found colour scheme to date.
Saturday, 3 May 2014
Brazil is now completely synonymous with minibots within the Transformers fandom, but it wasn't always that way. I still remember over a decade ago when Devvi posted his amazing photos of rainbow-coloured minibots on his Devvi.com website. It was a revelation to me and a key to another universe. The legacy of that kind of discovery carries on today, not least of all with the slew of Spanish KO minibot reveals I featured here on this blog. Today's feature is the Estrela-manufactured blue "Sedan", Brazil's answer to Bumblejumper, itself a Transformers aberration that was originally a Takara Micro Change Series MC-04 Mazda Familia 1500XG mini car.
Friday, 2 May 2014
In 1985, Takara released the first 2 series of the Transformers in Japan with their own numbering system, and in that system the Autobot warrior "Tracks" was 44. Tracks is one of the more tricky Takara Cybertron cars to find boxed and in nice condition, up there with 07 Ligier (Mirage), 25 Trailbreaker, 03 Wheeljack and 08 Streak. Although, the difficulty of each Autobot car in Japanese packaging does depend on who you talk to, many have differing experiences. One thing everyone will agree on, though, is that this particular 44 Tracks specimen is a show stopper.
For the longest time I owned a Hasbro US production sample early G1 Ramjet, originally owned by the Hartman brothers and before that by an ex-Hasbro employee. The toy was resealed to the card and had an orange canopy like on Ramjet's box artwork and stock photography. It was basically a pre-release variant, a sample of immense value and unique feature. Well it was until I found what I believed to be an actual production version of an orange-canopied G1 Ramjet.
Thursday, 1 May 2014
The Macross OYP ground to a halt in March and April, with the only really new items being either free gifts, or items that had been bought ages ago that finally got through administrative auction and proxy service red tape and arrived on my doorstep. All that means this will be a short update with only one real new addition.