It's not very good form to start a pictorial post with a fuzzy out of focus effort, but it's the most suitable image to launch the Mastermind Creations Reformatted R-04 Squadron Commander "Leo Dux". In other words, the 3rd party MMC version of Razorclaw. I am currently away from home for a while so I have no access to my photography equipment, toys or even a decent computer/laptop that actually allows me to see how my edited images are coming out on good monitors elsewhere. My apologies for that, shame to waste perfectly good photos this way but there you are!
Monday, 28 July 2014
The Human Alliance series of Transformers Movie toys are widely regarded as the very best to have come out of the Bayverse group of releases, premiering around the time of Revenge Of The Fallen (ROTF). Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Jazz and Barricade are utterly magnificent creations, but none of the others ever got my attention, so were never bought. I think it is also accepted that after the ROTF range, the HA toys went slightly downhill, I know upon seeing Soundwave I lost heart for the line completely. Recently I purchased the above Dark Of The Moon (DOTM) repaint of the Human Alliance Skids. This toy is now a black vehicle with green stripes, seen for a micro-second in DOTM, and the same mould as the all green version released during ROTF.
Sunday, 27 July 2014
Have you missed the Transformers Animated posts recently? I hope so, because here's one collecting some of my favourite photographs from recent shoots involving TF Animated figures that are slight variations on the cartoon cast, or just brand new characters released as exclusives. There are some group shots, comparison shots and just plain old images that I thought came out very well. I love this toyline so very very much, few things are bringing me as much enjoyment right now, and while a lot of these pieces (if not all) have appeared already in my New Arrivals posts, it's nice (for me) to see them again and post more interesting images.
Saturday, 26 July 2014
The Mexican Constructicons by Plasticos Iga are among the least rare of these lovely variety of vintage G1 Transformers variants. They were released as individually carded figures and also as a giftset, the only Iga giftset we know of. Heck, Devastator is the only Iga combiner we know of. These toys were exported to many countries including the UK, Germany, Holland, countries in Scandinavia and also the Balkans. These toys are of a different shade of green to Hasbro Constructicons, have no rubsigns, slight moulding differences here and there (Long Haul's grill is one that comes to mind) and have "JAPAN" blocked on their copyrights. What's really interesting though, is that a handful of these Devastators/Constructicons come with a few chromed parts, and not the normal drill or double-barrel missiles, but parts that were never chromed for Hasbro or Takara release.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
This is a Generation 1 Transformers Optimus Prime, the most recognisable of all Transformers. A boxed G1 Prime has a certain allure and glow, regardless of the endless number of global packaging variants that exist. There are vintage US and UK Hasbro Primes, Mexican, Yugoslavian, Italian, Asian, multilingual Milton Bradley, multilingual Hasbro, Canadian bilingual, Takara 01 Japanese, gold box "Original" Optimus Primes and here we have the Portuguese release of this famous and iconic toy.
Having documented the opening and unsealing of the BT-17 Binaltech ark Commander Black Convoy featuring Dodge RAM SRT-10 in "Opening a $1000 Toy" and then discussed the figure in depth in last night's TFSource Blog article "Binaltech BT-17 to BT-18", I am now posting a full pictorial of the item in its packaging, and loose in both modes with paperwork. I've already given my opinion on the figure and discussed its relevance and context in the aforementioned two posts, so all that's left is to show off the photographs, enjoy!
Monday, 21 July 2014
No, this did not cost me a thousand dollars, but some collectors out there will have shelled out close to that for the 2007 Binaltech Wonderfest exclusive BT-17 Black Convoy. I traded for mine, so it worked out extremely reasonable, and contributed to my decision to go ahead and open it. Why would anyone hesitate to open theirs, regardless of price? For a start, the packaging is rubbish, and one of those that can never be restored to its original untouched appearance, and having paid what most people do (seen em go for $700 recently), collectors will not want to destroy that high value and take a big hit in years to come should they sell. But this is me we're talking about, and I have been waiting for this opportunity for 7 years since I sold my own sealed specimen after BotCon 2007. So, please join me for my unsealing, un-boxing and liberating of a MISB Takara Binaltech BT-17 Dark Commander Black Convoy.
Sunday, 20 July 2014
We saw the test shots, we saw them displayed at conventions, we've anticipated and heard the death knell, then the song of resurrection...finally they are here. Mech iDeas Bluster and Trench. Almost. While the Techno Toon Titans line from Mech iDeas are aimed at filling all the gaps that the cancellation of Transformers Animated left, inaugural release TTT-01G is actually a repaint of the moulds for Animated Huffer and Pipes. The Transformers Animated colours are to be released later this year, but the Mario and Luigi repaints exclusive to TFCon in Canada and Auto Assembly in England are out. Here's my short pictorial review. If you need some historical context, background, rationale and design analysis, you can read my article on the test shots here.
Saturday, 19 July 2014
In Europe and the West, in 1988, we received Powermaster Optimus Prime and thought it was amazing. Japan, on the other hand, got Super Ginrai and then God Ginrai during the airing of Japanese Transformers series Super God Masterforce (or Chōjin Masterforce). Die cast, proper windows, chrome, retractable fists, generally better quality construction and an exclusive Godbomber figure too meant that for years the Japanese set was highly regarded and sought after. Then just after the turn of the century, Takara (because at that stage they were still just Takara) reissued C-310 God Ginrai as a giftset, and then came the exclusive recolour Fire Guts God Ginrai that you see here in 2002. Orange Powermaster Prime and orange Godbomber, if you'd like to oversimplify!
Friday, 18 July 2014
I don't know why my first instinct was to post a disclaimer about this not being a 100% Animated haul post, because you should feel privileged if it was! The best TRANSFORMERS TOY line ever deserves to be made tribute to every single day of the week. In actual fact this is quite a varied series of bots that make up the back end of Transformers-Arriving-Endlessly-July, but Animated Cheetor being the looker that he is, earns the headline image.
Just yesterday I posted about acquiring the 2010 Revenge of the Fallen Lockdown from a friend, and here's a quick post dedicated to this outstanding figure. Released in the Western world first as a TF Animated character, the bounty hunter received multiple decos in that line including "Blazing Lockdown", "Stealth Lockdown" and an Activators release plus repaint called "Bandit Lockdown". This excellent original creation found his way into the ROTF toy line as a quite extraordinary deluxe as well, one that is starting to demand interesting money. An appearance as a Bot Shots character aside, his biggest role is now in the 2014 summer blockbuster Transformers 4: Age of Extinction as the main villain. It is the Age of Lockdown. In the spirit of Lockdown, if you have the Age of Extinction soundtrack, stick on "Your Creators Want You Back" and (hopefully) enjoy this short non-article.
Thursday, 17 July 2014
Yes, there's more Animated, but there's also considerable variety. A trip to see Paul "The Spacebridge" Hitchens for a family day out would not be complete without a look through his Transformers stock, and with my new ambition to complete Transformers Animated, I knew I'd find some modern specimens in his reserves. I also used the opportunity to pick up things I'd looked at briefly on line, but couldn't resist in the flesh.
Monday, 14 July 2014
Don't be fooled, this post is full of new Transformers Animated items that have been arriving steadily as the face of my collection changes again. However, top billing for this post belongs solely to a holy grail piece that I had in my possession on release 7 years ago, and foolishly sold immediately for massive profit, regretting it always. It gives me huge pleasure to take my biggest step yet towards completing something that lies very close to the heart and soul of my Transformers collection - Binaltech - with the arrival of BT-17 Wonderfest exclusive Black Convoy.
Sunday, 13 July 2014
The Plasticos Iga release of G1 Sideswipe in Mexico (later exported to Europe) is probably one of the lesser known variants of the range, and quite difficult to spot if you don't know what to look for. Those who know that European auction sites and sales lists can often be spotted with Mexican variants are quick to notice a regular G1 toy where the plastic colour is a little off, or something about the stickers is not quite right. Sideswipe is one of those.
Friday, 11 July 2014
Yet more Optimus Prime, but this time how about something that has never been seen before? I received a box just days ago where the contents far more closely resembled the type of Transformers I have been collecting for pretty much half my life. A box of vintage foreign variant G1 Transformers, and one in a box that had never been seen until about a month ago, buried for two and a half decades. Back in my comfort zone!
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
That's right, another couple of boxes arrived. One was from TFSource containing my MP-18S Tokyo Toy Show exclusive Masterpiece Silverstreak, Hyper Hobby exclusive Animated Black Rodimus, a bunch of teeny tiny figures (thank you Jeremy!) and the Animated special edition "Cool" manga book that comes with a clear Activators Optimus Prime. And right at the back is the completely unsubtle show-stealer that came in its own special package, FansToys FT-04 Scoria.
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Another day, another box of Transformers Animated. Believe it or not, I cannot wait until this is over. When you're buying online - especially cheap small things like a loose Animated bot here or there - you don't realise how quickly it adds up in terms of volume, and knowing that every day a box arrives with more stuff, it's getting a little hard to breathe around here. Also this first pic is a little misleading, not all of those toys are mine, or new!
Monday, 7 July 2014
Writing to be kept to a minimum. Too many Transformers arrived in early July. Loads of photographs, no captions. Animated, Animated, Animated and even a reissue and a TF Prime toy. It's been an amazing/atrocious couple of weeks, have been well and truly jettisoned from the wagon and reversed over repeatedly. So without further ado, here's the first avalanche...
Thursday, 3 July 2014
Thursday night (tomorrow) will see me publish an article on TFSource Blog about the upcoming 3rd party Mech Ideas Techno Toon Titans "Bluster" and "Trench". In layman's terms, they are the unofficial Transformers Animated versions of Huffer and Pipes as seen in the Allspark Almanacs and also in a brief scene in the 3rd season of the Animated cartoon itself. If these figures are successful - and I desperately hope they are - it could signal a way for TF Animated lovers to finally get their hands on unofficial versions of the unproduced and unused characters they have been so cruelly teased with by the creators of the show. Speaking of teasers, here are some of the pictures from tomorrow night's article to whet your appetite. Enjoy!