Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Body Parts - State of Collecting + Happy 2015!

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.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Hasbro Masterpiece MP-05 Sunstorm


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

MMC Zinnia Pictorial

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 G1 "16 Megatron"

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 Arrivals 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

Unique Toys O-02 Alberich - Pictorial

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

Diaclone "Blue Trailbreaker" Quickie

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

A Big Reveal (Reprise 3) - UPDATED!

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

New Arrivals - Early December 2014 (Part 2)

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

Combiner Wars Powerglide

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

Transformers Cloud Hot Rodimus

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

Hello Goodbye - Update!

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

The Magic Of Hexatron

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!

Browning - One figure, 3 types of robot art

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

New Arrivals - Early December 2014 (Part 1)

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

Finnish Diaclone Group Shots

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

FT-05 Soar is coming!

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

DX9 03 Invisible - MP Vehicle Mode Pictorial

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?

DX9 03 Invisible - MP Robot Mode Pictorial

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

Macross One Year Project - November 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

DX9 03 Invisible - Teaser Pictorial

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.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

TF Animated Takara Tomy Blurr

Transformers Animated Blurr is a toy that every single Transformers collector should own. It has one of the most unique looks in all of the TF universe, and that goes for both modes. It takes a pinch of Tron, a slab of Animated, handfuls of Classics Mirage and what you get is 100% Blurr. It's one of the top 3 deluxes I've ever seen. This isn't my first Blurr either, I already have a sealed and loose specimen. What made this an essential purchase is the fact that it's the Japanese Takara Tomy release with the different blue paint application.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

New Arrivals - Late November 2014

A sales list I might have added, but the odd new figure does creep in the other direction now and then. In the picture above you can see the Mastermind Creations Reformatted R-08Z Zinnia, extra Masterpiece Wheeljack with hypno-lunchbox and coin and a Takara Tomy Japanese Animated Blurr. I finally added a new 1/55 Macross figure as well after months off from that project. Here's a quick run-through.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Recent Departures - November 2014

It's been a very long time since I've done a "Recent Departures" post, because I had not sold anything of significance after the Finnish Black Tracks some months ago. Even then, it was a loose broken extra, not my collection specimen. After amassing nearly all of Animated in a short while and expanded further into MP, 3P and Generations/FOC, my gaze once again turned to real life and more Diaclone had to go in order to bring my family and I closer to affording a property.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Badcube OTS-03 Backland - Pictorial

Hot on the heels of last night's OTS-02 Badcube Brawny pictorial, here's Badcube's version of Masterpiece Outback, "Backland". OTS-03 comes with the blaster and "Decepticon detector" from the season 3 G1 episode "Five Faces Of Darkness". The extra accessory pack that comes with the Quintesson Journal capsule for those who pre-ordered both Brawny and Backland contains an extra face (that I couldn't put on because the current one refused to budge!) and the frisbee-like Quintesson Journal prop from the G1 episode of the same name. Without further ado, here's the gallery:

Badcube OTS-02 Brawny - Pictorial

Badcube - formerly Cubex - have continued the Old Timer Series with another Masterpiece-style 3rd party minibot. Two in fact. Badcube have decided to tackle Brawn and Outback first as they relaunch their brand. OTS-02 Brawny and OTS-03 Backland (following OTS-01 Huff) are obviously intended to be Brawn and Outback, respectively. Tuesday night will see my article for TFSource on these figures, so for now I hope you'll enjoy a sneak peek pictorial of the figure that has started to ship out to retailers and customers. All judgement and comment on the quality of the piece shall be reserved for then, but for now here's Badcube Brawny in robot and vehicle mode, with and without the extra accessory pack that comes with the set of pre-ordered together.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Art Of Paul Vromen

Many of today's most celebrated Transformers artists, people like Nick Roche, Alex Milne, Makoto Ono and Guido Guidi, started out as Transformers fan artists who made the leap to producing official artwork for comics, exclusives, conventions and even toy packaging. That is the ultimate honour and marker for success for these talented fans, and it is something that my long time friend and Dutch Transformers collector/enthusiast/artist Paul Vromen can now claim. Having recently created artwork for BotCon and Transformers Collectors Club, I am incredibly proud of my friend who provided so much free inspirational artwork for my TF-1 articles over the years. This is my tribute to his work and achievements, starting with the above artwork of Beast Wars Megatron and G.I.Joe General Hawk created for the David Kaye autograph card at BotCon 2014.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

TF Animated Ratchet Bumblebee 2-pack

Just when you thought, as a Transformers Animated collector, that you couldn't possibly end up with another Animated deluxe Bumblebee or deluxe Ratchet in a lot where you wanted something else out of it, you actually go and willingly buy a 2-pack with...Ratchet and Bumblebee. Even at £17.99, why would I add a fourth deluxe Ratchet and a fourth deluxe Bumblebee to my collection, when I can't even sell the spares? BECAUSE IT'S A VARIANT, OKAY?

Hello Goodbye - My Buy/Sell/Trade

If you're reading this direct from the blog or Transformers Square One Facebook, then it pleases me to inform you that I have just added a buy/sell/trade page to Transformers Square One where I'll sell everything from vintage rare Diaclones to lots of modern Transformers Animated toys or original Hasbro box artwork from Hasbro artists, depending on what I need to shift at any given time, including a list of things I am still looking for. If you've been directed here from said sales page, then you already know it's there, and you're wondering why the hell you need to read a whole blog post to tell you how a sales list works. You'd be surprised. Actually, if you've been in the hobby any length of time, you probably wouldn't. Regardless, read on!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Diaclone "Ligier" Quickie

Transformers Generation 1 Mirage was - in its first incarnation - the Takara Diaclone Ligier JS11 F1 Car Robot, based on the 1979 Equipes Gitanes Ligier Ford-Cosworth #26 Formula 1 car driven by Jacques Laffitte. It was available in Japan in 1983 in original blue and then in 1985 in red as part of the elusive and legendary Powered Convoy DX set. This post will focus on the Italian GiG (fully Takara licensed I might add) Ligier with the rubber bopper missiles and one extra distinguishing feature - an exclusive defining sticker.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

What Grade Would You Give? - UPDATED!

If you were an authority on grading, if you had the chance to decide what a sealed Generation 1 Aerialbot Fireflight on card in such gloriously well-preserved condition should be ranked as in terms of the card, the figure and the blister, how would you rate it? Well, I know how many collectors already feel about the AFA (Action Figure Authority) and the grading scene as a whole, but it's polarising and I know good people and healthy collectors from either side of the fence. I know people who collect graded items and are not engaged in a pissing contest over what the AFA has awarded the item. I also know collectors who I respect highly, and they despise the entire process. I want you to put that aside for a moment, and just study this MOSC G1 Fireflight, assessing it as you see fit according to what the AFA judge it against were this item to be sent for grading.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

MMC Azalea Pictorial

Mastermind Creations have just released their Reformatted interpretation of Transformers Arcee. Now my understanding is that it is meant to evoke echoes of the IDW Arcee figure, hence being pretty well-armed and shown off on the packaging as a quite badass little warrior. I can't help but feel that to me Arcee will always be the gentle but capable fighting Autobot from the 1986 Movie and season 3 of the Generation 1 cartoon. My pictorial of this figure, in anticipation of Tuesday night's Source Article/review of this toy, has tried to capture that more G1 Arcee look and feel with the photography and posing than the ruthless and murderous IDW Arcee. All other opinions on the toy I shall reserve for Tuesday night!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

TF Animated: Fight Of Start!

This isn't an easy giftset to find and then justify the price for. The toys within are not vastly different in moulding or appearance to anything that isn't already easily available from Hasbro, but for those who love the Cybertronian Mode Animated Optimus Prime deluxe or the Cybertronian Mode Animated Megatron deluxe, it's a big deal. This is the Japanese Takara Tomy Animated "Fight of Start" giftset - or at least that's what I'm calling it thanks to the gramatically incorrect English text on the back of the box. I guess it kind of acts as TT's answer to the Hasbro "Battle Begins" giftset in the US and Europe where the Earth mode deluxe Prime and Cybertronian deluxe Megatron were packaged together with the DVD.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Any Excuse...

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has ever tried to think of ways of letting their Transformers collection infiltrate their workplace. I've been trying for years to think of an excuse, and last month I managed to finally find a way of embedding the toys into something I do at work, which was deliver staff and teacher training to further education lecturers.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Oversized TF Prime Wheeljack Bootleg

I've mentioned this beauty a few times, so it's high time he got his own feature. As soon as I learned of the Chinese oversized bootleg of Transformers prime Wheeljack - possibly my favourite deluxe class figure ever - I raided Taobao to find one. The toy is roughly leader class size in height and has the exact same transformation and proportions as the deluxe, but of course is constructed from lower quality materials. It also comes in a hilariously inaccurate box. "Taikongshenrs", anyone? Truly, this is one of the best KO Transformers I've ever seen.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

New Arrivals - Late October 2014

The curse is broken! I finally have in my collection an EZ Collection Smokescreen, the Takara Tomy version of the Cyberverse Smokescreen in show accurate colours, presented with gorgeous paint application. I had tried to get this figure from Asia on 3 previous occasions, one got destroyed and returned to sender, two got lost in the mail, and finally via Taobao I have this last variant of the mould I needed. Far too much hassle for such a readily available little figure. Then again, I wasn't going to pay $50 on eBay so...anyway, read on for the other new arrivals.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

EZ Collection Wheeljack (& Star Hammer)

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.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Diaclone "Blue Swoop" Quickie

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

TF Animated Lucky Draw Gold Optimus and Megatron

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

New Arrivals - 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

Ceji Joustra Diaclone Artwork for sale on eBay - UPDATED

For any fans of Ceji Joustra's Diaclone line, specifically the wonderful comic and box artwork that the toy line is famous for, RpChristophe ( 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

KFC D.A.I. Stack - Vehicle Mode Pictorial

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.

TFCC Chromedome

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

KFC D.A.I. Stack - Robot Mode Pictorial

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

FOC Soundwave - Clear Test Shot Pictorial

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

DOTM Human Alliance Leadfoot

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

FT-05 Soar - Comparison with Diaclone and WST "Swoop"

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

ROTF Human Alliance Mudflap

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

FT-05 Soar - Matte Wings Pictorial

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. 

FT-05 Soar - Dinosaur Mode Pictorial

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.