Tonight's TFSource Blog article "Blast From The Past" was entirely inspired by a friend of mine bringing back my RID Side Burn, Prowl and X-Brawn after over a decade of having them in his garage. To quote from the article: ''Car Robots is now almost as old as Generation 1 was when Car Robots first came out''. Profound, no?
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Apparently my sweet and innocent little sweetheart did "not have enough Decepticons", so the corrupting influence otherwise known as Morg has attempted to balance the fight against my daughter's growing Autobot ranks. Seeing Transformers products through the eyes of a young child has certainly opened my mind, as the Fall of Cybertron Data Disks would never have registered on my radar had Morg not kindly gifted them to my girl.
Sunday, 27 April 2014
Less article, more pictorial. This is the mainland European G1 Predacon "Divebomb" in bilingual packaging. I had absolutely no idea this existed, I knew there were US Predacons, Canadian bilingual Predacons and even GiG Italian Predacons, but to have had the Predacons in the 1980s - and therefore Predaking - in Europe outside of Italy is completely news to me. The giftset is out of the question (right?), but these 1987 releases would have been available in Holland, France and presumably spots in Germany, Belgium and maybe even Scandinavia. Euro collectors knew of course, but that's never been an obstacle to my ignorance.
Saturday, 26 April 2014
I lied. February contained even more Macross 1/55s coming through the post than January, but some were purchased in January so I guess it's still where I did the bulk of the spending. At the rate I was going through reissues, and the regularity with which I was seeing everything on my wants list on auction or offered privately, I realised that the only obstacle was going to be budget and continued spending. Vintage Elint Seekers, Super Ostriches, Armoured Valkyries, Super Valkyries and even Max and Miriya VF-1J vintages were popping up often, but it was around February that I started to realise that the pace of purchase was beginning to harm my finances so things got a lot quieter after February. In the meantime, here's what showed up...
Friday, 25 April 2014
If December was the month that I did the most research and learning about Macross 1/55 Valkyrie history, variants and reissues, prices and sources/resources, then the dawn of 2014 was the month in which I made the most purchases and built a solid foundation for the collection I was dreaming of. Literally dreaming of, and that's a weird sensation. I do this, I blitz a new interest and then look at the collateral damage, but having interests with attainable goals (read: justification) is a new thing to me that first started with IDW More Than Meets The Eye comic collecting. Here's January 2014's one year project progress.
Thursday, 24 April 2014
The original Takara Diaclone Car Robot No.13 Police Car Fairlady Z was released in Japan around June 1983, commonly referred to as "Diaclone Prowl" thanks to this toy's eventual use in the 1984 Hasbro Transformers line as the Autobot Strategist. The image above, as ridiculous as it seems, is not the Japanese toy but the Italian GiG release of this figure sporting its outrageously and inappropriately large orange and black safety boppers. For this post, we'll be looking at the Italian version of this release.
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Tuesday night means Source Blog article night, and for the first time in a while I didn't have anything lined up, so I decided to go with an idea for an article I'd had for a few weeks. Pitfalls, all the bad habits a collector like me has probably fallen into over the years. You can read it HERE
Monday, 21 April 2014
With the decision to commit to buying every 1/55 reissue and vintage Macross Valkyrie made, I spent a great deal of my Christmas break looking at auctions, forums and sales pages. I was aware that Macross prices had tanked compared to the days where VF-1S Strikes could go for hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. It seemed as good a time as any to finally scratch that itch. And by good time, I mean the worst possible thing I could do to my finances and collection focus. But unless anyone in the room can point out to me where good decisions and toy collecting ever intersected, here's December 2013's project progress.
Sunday, 20 April 2014
Self-enabling is a complete bastard. A vintage Transformers collector will, nine times out of ten, really love the Generation 1 Jetfire toy. I first owned one in 1998 and was spellbound. Even though I hadn't owned one for over a decade until this year again, like a lot of Jetfire lovers, I had an associated but passing interest in the world of vintage 1/55 Takatoku and Bandai Macross Valkyries, the place from which the Shoji Kawamori designed mould that was used for G1 Jetfire originates. Macross was the slippery slope I avoided for a decade and a half, but after watching the "Do You Remember Love?" Macross animated movie and writing a TFSource article on non-Takara pre-Transformers in late 2013, I finally cracked and started collecting vintage and reissue 1/55 Macross. This series will chart my one year project to complete the toy line in a single calendar year.
Since Mijo of 20th Century Toy Collector confirmed the existence of the mainland European Generation 1 1985 Milton Bradley "Sunswipe" - a Sunstreaker in Sideswipe packaging - there's been a lot written about it by both himself as the remover of the veil of ignorance, and myself as the first owner of probably the best specimen ever found. I have since passed this diamond of a Euro variant onto Mijo, where it belongs to be fair, but here is the first dedicated write-up I've personally done on this variant.
Saturday, 19 April 2014
Last of my posts on Ceji's Transformers variants, not because there aren't any more, I just don't have any more photos. Despite the amazing yellow G1 Devastator and the charming Ceji Seeker jets, I think the Insecticons are my favourites. The thing is, their variation is not at all spectacular, basically the chest flap on all three is translucent orange like the G1 box artwork, instead of the normal yellow of HasTak Insecticons. Thrilling, no?
Friday, 18 April 2014
We've looked at the yellow G1 Ceji Devastator and the variant G1 Ceji Starscream, now it's the turn of the 1986 Ceji G1 Decepticon jet Ramjet, made in France and sold in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. We'll briefly check out Thrust and Dirge too. Like Devastator and Starscream, Ceji's Ramjet is quite different to the Hasbro and Takara Generation 1 Transformers Ramjets that most of us will have grown used to in our childhoods and adult collecting. Here comes the breakdown.
Thursday, 17 April 2014
With the full story of the Gisima KO Spanish vintage minibots now told, any additional posts on the subject will purely be to show new variants, confirmations of assumed variants or maybe better pictures of ones already featured. This first reprise is specifically about two new Gisima Windchargers that have joined the current horde taking temporary residence at my home. We have the yellow/blue Windcharger which was previously photographed by Felix Arroyo and also the blue/cream Windcharger previously only seen in Scorponok's store display images.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
In 2007 a host of prototypes, samples, pre-production materials and other such vintage behind-the-scenes treasures were unearthed via ex-Hasbro employees in Rhode Island. Alongside original G1 amd G2 boxart, hardcopy resin prototype G1 Hot Rods, Headmasters and mock-up unreleased Generation 2 Autobot cars and jets was something of astronomical significance historically to the Transformers character "Smokescreen". This is a post on the production sample Diaclone Car Robot No.11 Fairlady Racing 280Z Turbo that was sent to Hasbro by Takara, probably in 1984, in order to be evaluated for a Transformers release.
Monday, 14 April 2014
Following on from yesterday's post on the Ceji-manufactured "Yellow Devastator", here's another of the 1986 Transformers made in France by Ceji for Hasbro Bradley in 1986. While the variations on Starscream are not anywhere near as spectacular as a whole Devastator in the wrong colour, there are enough G1 Seeker and Starscream aficionados out there that when I sold both of my specimens, they were gone in an instant with no argument on price. The differences are interesting enough even for a G1 collector with just a passing interest in variants.
Sunday, 13 April 2014
This is not Generation 2, and these are not Classic-era yellow and grey non-combining European Constructicons, which can be seen clearly in the above picture of the combined "G1 Yellow Devastator". That's right, "G1", look at the rubsigns. In 1986 before they folded, French toy company Ceji (by then Ceji Revell) agreed as part of the deal for Hasbro Bradley to take over their stock of Diaclone and licences for the mainland European region, to manufacture certain Transformers figures for release under "The Transformers" in countries such as France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Austria and parts of Scandinavia. The Constructicons were part of that arrangement, except the memo about the colour was lost.
Solved mystery, personified rarity, fraud magnet, ridiculed hackney. But is the Finnish Diaclone "Black Tracks" now irrelevant and over-discussed because of attempted fraud, blurry Japanese images and crazy prices? Try telling every single Diaclone or Transformers car variant collector in the world minus ten that this toy is irrelevant, uninteresting and yesterday's news. Of course if you're not one of them, well, at least the pictures are nice. To me this is still the pinnacle, the embodiment of the appeal of this hobby. Welcome, the Finnish Takara Diaclone "Auto Robot" Corvette Stingray in black.
Friday, 11 April 2014
Wow. It's looking good for April isn't it? I can tell you right now this is going to be nothing like a Heroic Decepticon or Brr-Icy new arrivals post, we are definitely into WTF territory with this one. What can I say/? It's been a slow Spring in terms of toy purchases for me, in fact apart from the Hot Rod reissue I bought my daughter, everything I got was a generous free gift and either for my daughter again, or something someone really didn't want! "No Transformers March" has segued unpleasantly into "No Transformers April".
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Smoke...Streak? Surely that's a mistake. Well, yes, it was a mistake, one that was repeated, repeated again, repeated to a slightly lesser degree and then finally corrected. It's actually a great shame that Plasticos Iga in Mexico ever bothered to correct their release of the Autobot Smokescreen because their 'mistakes' were sublime. The reason for the collector-given nickname "Smokestreak" is that while the toy is clearly presented in Smokescreen colours, three of the four versions of the Mexican toy actually had a large number of Bluestreak's moulding features, including one release that was 100% Bluestreak - just painted up in red, white and blue.
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
For those of you who read my post on My Daughter's Transformers, you'll be thrilled/horrified to know she's added more troops to the roster, through no choice of her own! Her growing collection of Transformers is fueled by inspiration that lies somewhere between her fascination with certain members of my collection and her father's need to collect vicariously as his own activity has ground to something of a halt recently. Here then, is the result.
Tonight's TFSource Blog article is about toys I have sold over the years that I have regretted, and given the opportunity (read: funds) would buy back again to correct those mistakes. That's just gone live HERE. This post, however, is about the toys I don't regret selling, not because they were at all bad, just that I am glad they've moved on having been enjoyed at the time.
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
I've been meaning to create a serious Diaclone Powered Convoy post on either TF-1, TFSource Blog or the forums for years, and it was only when I sold my vintage Diaclone Powered Convoy this year that I took some representative photographs. It's funny how you never take the super-detailed pictures until something's for sale, right? I guess I thought I'd keep this one forever. Here, finally, is my post on the Takara Diaclone Car Robot Powered Convoy from August 1984.
Monday, 7 April 2014
Who is Tigertrack? Well if you'd read THIS you'd know, wouldn't you! This isn't a reissue though, you're looking at the very first yellow version of a Countach that made it to The Transformers, the Japanese Takara Diaclone No.15 New Countach LP500S, or "Yellow Sideswipe". The original Diaclone pre-Sideswipe was released in red around August 1983 in Japan, with a planned all black version seemingly making it to production-ready stages before possible being scrapped. This yellow version was the official second release of the mould and debuted in Japan at the end of 1983, and was then released in Italian GiG packaging as well in 1984.
Saturday, 5 April 2014
"Police Sideswipe" or worse, "Diaclone Red Alert" are just a couple of the names used to describe this delightful Diaclone variant. It is in fact the Takara Diaclone Car Robot No.19 New Countach LP500S Police Car. This police car repaint of the Diaclone New Countach LP500S (pre-Sideswipe) was released in Japan around October 1983, and the following year in Italy by GiG, under licence from Takara.
A giant of vintage Transformers Generation 1 variations, the original red version of the 1985 Autobot Tracks. First seen and made famous as a Transformer on the back of 1985 Hasbro packaging, it didn't take as long to deduce the reason for that artwork's red depiction of Tracks as other mysteries in the hobby have taken. The Tracks mould was originally "Corvette Stingray" in the Japanese and Italian (and Finnish) Diaclone Car Robot lines by Takara, where its first ever colour was red. Undoubtedly using Takara samples for reference, the artists depicted a red Tracks on the 1985 box back artwork for Transformers packaging, but of course the toy was released in blue everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except mainland Europe.
Friday, 4 April 2014
Another variant from yesteryear that seems to have been around forever, the Mexican "Black Prowl" from the G1 Transformers range manufactured by Plasticos Iga. Released in 1985 in Mexico and widely exported into Europe, this is as well known as G1 variants come. There are 3 confirmed variations of this toy and one a little less confirmed, but the overall appeal is that Mexico created a G1 Prowl with Spanish text on the factory stickers and a mostly black colour scheme, especially a black robot helmet.
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Or de-evolution? I used to live at home and so my room was decorated from top to bottom with Transformers. Oh the joys of disposable income and no significant rental responsibilities. When I moved out I could - like most - only afford to rent modest accommodation where TFs were not the priority, and my displays reflected that. I'd sold loads too by that stage. The picture above is of my very old G1 loose collection from around 2000. I'm going to recall the progress/decline of my collection display over the last few years.
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
This week on TFSource Blog sees the last chapter of the Ambassadors series, where contributors pick the one toy from a particular category that could be used as a representative to get others interested in the line or area. Last week the topic was 3rd Party and this week it's Cybertron, Beast Wars, Reissue exclusives and Transformers Watches. Since I don't have any experience of most of the categories across the 2 weeks, I've combined my choices for parts 5 and 6 into one post here. You can see tonight's brand new Part 6 HERE and last week's Part 5 HERE.
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Armed with the company name "Gisima S.L." and the original information provided by Pablo, it became much easier to track down information on the company responsible for manufacturing and selling the Spanish bootleg minibots. Websites led to blogs, which in turn led to forums and eventually the scope of these releases - and the number of available variants - became clear. Painfully clear.