One of those "Why didn't anyone tell me this exists?" purchases. Even though I have all the variations of official TF Prime Wheeljack and 5 bootlegs of various sizes and styles of the figure, I didn't know there was a Legion/Cyberverse class Wheeljack in the correct show colours. I previously only had the Hyperspeed Marlboor-coloured Cyberverse Wheeljack, but upon discovering this release...well, here we are. It seems mini Wheeljack is attached to a giant thing called Star Hammer. Well, at least it has a badass name.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Sunday, 19 October 2014
The Takara Diaclone Dinosaur Robos are the first releases of the toys that became the Transformers Dinobots. The toy commonly referred to as 'Diaclone Swoop' was an early 80s Japanese-only release called Dinosaur Robo No.5 Pteranodon. This followed on from the Tyrannosaurus (pre-Grimlock), Stegosaurus (pre-Snarl), Triceratops (pre-Slag) and Brontosaurus (pre-Sludge), and is easily the most expensive and desirable of the five.
Friday, 17 October 2014
Even the most available, recent and relatively cheap line of Transformers toys will have its expensive exclusives, rarities or prize version figures. Usually in Japan. Transformers Animated is absolutely no exception, in fact exclusive figures make up a very noticeable part of a complete collection. They aren't always just regular characters in special colours, very often the US exclusives like the TFCC or BotCon figures were brand new Animated characters making them completely essential. What we have here though are the Japanese Takara Tomy exclusive gold chromed 'Lucky Draw' deluxe Earth mode Optimus Prime and deluxe Cybertronian mode Megatron, both limited to 1000 pieces each, which is actually quite a lot for a Lucky Draw figure.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Mercifully haven't done one of these posts for a while as they were literally taking over the blog, and October has been much slower in terms of arrivals which again I am pleased with, but here's a quick run down of what's new. In this first picture you can see a number of figures already reviewed on this blog like Human Alliance Leadfoot, KO Animated Activators Lockdown and the wonderful die cast KO Activators Bumblebee, but also a sealed Takara Tomy Animated Electrostatic Soundwave, sealed Hasbro Animated Rodimus Minor and sealed Hasbro Animated Ironhide (none of which are sealed any more) and Hasbro Animated Skywarp.
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
For any fans of Ceji Joustra's Diaclone line, specifically the wonderful comic and box artwork that the toy line is famous for, RpChristophe (Joustra-Diaclone.com) and I have been informed by renowned artists Paul and Gaetan Brizzi that their original artwork for the "War On Diaclona" comic accompanying most Joustra Diaclone toys will be listed on eBay starting today, read on for the link.
Monday, 13 October 2014
Carrying on from yesterday's robot mode pictorial for KFC's D.A.I. Stack figure, the not-Movie Trailer Magnus, I've taken a number of photos of the vehicle mode on its own, with MP-10 Convoy and a few Diaclone-themed Masterpiece cars. Opinions and review insights reserved for tomorrow night's TFSource Blog article, but it doesn't mean we can't enjoy some visual D.A.I. Stack love.
I had some vague recollection of a TFCC Chromedome exclusive being announced as a repaint of some toy that was recommended to me, looked at the pictures and decided it looked far too odd and irrelevant so its memory was lost to history. Then I fell head over wallet in love with the TFPrime Wheeljack mould, so a BH Wheeljack, Dark Energon Wheeljack, Arms Micron Wheeljack, Arms Micron Wildrider and Prime Dead-End later, I realised one I had completely forgotten about, and it coincided with Chromedome's reduced panel time in More Than Meets The Eye, so I placed a pre-order with TFSource for this beauty. Not long after Chimungmung started sending out well-priced stolen Chromedomes and Stylors without mailer box or paperwork (and then slightly more expensive ones after they realised it was selling out too fast), I received notification that my official one had begun its journey.
Sunday, 12 October 2014
Some say he beat Takara's MP Ultra Magnus to the punch. Some say he's the best thing KFC ever made. All we know is, he's called The Stack. Well, technically this is fashioned after the Diaclone Powered Convoy - yet coloured more like the reissue Movie Trailer Ultra Magnus - and he's called D.A.I. Commander Stack. I like to think the "Stack" part comes from Robert Stack voicing Ultra Magnus in the 1986 Movie, hence the naming "Citizen Stack" of the first release of this KFC 3rd Party product earlier in 2014. You'd think because it was a Diaclone-based homage in a Powered Convoy-style box, I'd be all over this, but it's not that simple. I think pre-TF collectors, myself included, are a ridiculously finicky and pedantic bunch so sometimes not-arsed is better than half-arsed. I've grown to love D.A.I. Stack though, but it's nothing to do with the packaging and the colours. More on that this Tuesday in the associated TFSource Blog article. For now, here is the robot mode pictorial sporting the standard heads/faces included with the regular D.A.I. Stack purchase.
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Shopping online on Chinese websites is very dangerous indeed. I've started buying KOs and test shots of moulds I like, mercifully there aren't all that many modern moulds I'd go full metal completist on. One of the ones I am extremely partial towards outside of Animated is the Fall of Cybertron Soundwave/Blaster/Soundblaster sculpt, so the chance to get an all clear test shot - or possibly even a lunchtime special (I can't tell, but source was trustworthy) - was unmissable. The fact that it came with a clear data disc Laserbeak that allowed me to add to the growing collection of these amazing little things sealed the deal. I finally found a figure that could be effectively shot against my black background with my limited photo equipment and skills, so I hope you enjoy these shots of ghost Soundwave!
Monday, 6 October 2014
You've got to be careful when pursuing Transformers toys you love, especially of a certain limited sub category or niche, because you can overdose on a good thing, run into something you don't like which can dampen the whole experience or alternatively, fail to stretch out the enjoyment savouring every moment of discovery with it all ending too soon thanks to expedited purchasing or over-indulgence in a short time. This year I returned to buying Human Alliance figures again, adding to Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Jazz and Barricade first with DOTM Skids, then DOTM Roadbuster and most recently ROTF Mudflap. So far, all have been a success, excellent complexity, engaging transformations, movie-matching aesthetic and plenty of charm each to warrant the hard-earned mantle of Human Alliance worthy. Leadfoot and Soundwave were always going to be last on my list because of the images I'd seen online, and my attitude that ROTF was the best of HA, everything after a weak imitation, just not up to the same standard. Was that true of Leadfoot?
Saturday, 4 October 2014
This will be an incredibly short pictorial just comparing the FansToys FT-05 Soar test shot with the Takara Diaclone Dinosaur Robo No.5 Pterandon (Diaclone Swoop) and the World's Smallest TF Swoop from Justitoys, the latter both courtesy of the very kind Ben "Swoop" Hazard, a UK Transfan with a passing interest in this figure...
Friday, 3 October 2014
It's dawning on me slowly that the Movie Human Alliance line of larger figures could actually be - across the board - a 100% run of successfully excellent figures. Bumblebee, Jazz, Sideswipe (good luck convincing me otherwise, flaws and all), Barricade and Skids from ROTF and Roadbuster from DOTM have all been excellent figures. They've each had shortcomings and difficulties, but on the whole none have left me cold or unwilling to praise them overall. The strongest is still Jazz, and the hardest to justify to others Sideswipe - and even then the latter has one of the most beautiful alt modes ever seen on a Transformer. With all sub-lines of such quality, the demand is high and collectors tend not to sell the toys often. Add to that short-packing or bad distribution of particular releases and you have astronomical aftermarket 2nd hand prices and a lot of incomplete HA collections. Mudflap is a fine example of this. This year I decided to finally plug those gaps, and finally Project Human Alliance Mudflap is complete.
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Another FansToys FT-05 pictorial, this time both modes but using the matte silver wings instead of the blinding chrome 'blings'. We'll start off with the fully matte wings, and then what we'll do is change one wing to shiny chrome and you can see the comparison on the figure and decide what you like best. Removal of the wings is very simple, three screws and the top holding panel comes off, then you slot out the undesired wing type, replace with desired wing type, then place the top panel back on and replace the three screws. Literally as easy as you could want. I still think it;s such a shame they didn't send me the clear beak to review, I was quite looking forward to it. So let's begin with fully matte wings.
Following last night's FansToys FT-05 Iron Dibots Soar robot mode pictorial, here is the dinosaur mode follow-up. The transformation was pretty straightforward and easy to follow for the most part, especially the arms, head, feet and chest. Flaps open to hide extremities, die cast panels fold in and out and compress and the robot head folds into the dino head and is secured with two red pegs that clip into the side of the robot head. The feet and knees are where things get tricky and require excess force. There are chromed sections along the base of the shins (what would have functioned as the gold wheels on the Diaclone Swoop) that must be looked after and un-tabbed when folding the connected sections around the robot knees/dino feet. Getting the knees to slide back and allow full leg fold onto the back of the dino was very difficult too. I suspect much of this will be refined for final release. The four clips around the knees/dino feet must also be engaged/disengaged when transforming. Basically, on this occasion it won;t hurt to read the instructions! Anyway, hopefully these pics will tide you over until the first video reviews or my article next Tuesday.