27 May 2013

Pick of the Day - Transformers emblems on our phones

Yesterday, E presented me with these...

Autobot and Decepticon emblems, silver, shiny, glossy and mirror like.

One on E's phone and one on my phone.

Really like it.

Very nice.

Thanks E!

24 May 2013

Takara Transformers SCFs - ACT 4 Chase figures - Final Fire Guts attack Ginrai and metallic Grimlock

Previous post - Takara Transformers SCFs - ACT 3 Chase figures - Battle damaged Convoy and Reformatting Megatron

Previously, I have talked about the chase figures for ACT 1, ACT 2 and ACT 3. So far, the chase figures have been highly desirable, special and has an undeniable place in Transformers lore, mythos and history. With that being said, the chase figures for ACT 4 were a little disappointing.

For ACT 4 of the Takara's SCF line, the 2 chase figures are:
  1. Final Fire Guts attack Ginrai; and
  2. Metallic Grimlock
As with all SCF chase figures to date, these make use of existing molds, which are repainted. Final Fire Guts attack Ginrai is a repaint of ACT 1's regular God Ginrai figure. Metallic Grimlock is a repaint of ACT 2's regular Grimlock figure.

21 May 2013

Autobot Repid-Fire Attack Agent, C-109: Stepper MIB (vintage G1, unused)

With all the SCF excitement on my blog recently, I thought I'd mix it up a little and update with a little G1 items, just to mix it up a little. This of course, is no ordinary piece - this is one of my final vintage G1 pieces, this is the 'brother 'bot' of Artfire, this is Stepper!

Many would say that Stepper has fallen from grace, that it is hardly worth the plastic it is made of, mainly due to the fact that the TFC reissue of Stepper and then the TRU reissue is so readily and cheaply available in the market. Even today, close to a decade after these reissues were released, it is still relatively cheap and easy to find a reissue Stepper (or Riccochet as Hasbro calls it).

As a result, not many collectors are too interested to hunt a vintage Stepper, much less pay the big bucks that is its inevitable price tag. So, what was once a Transformer that was worth more than USD$1000 and the crowning jewel of a select few collectors' collections, is now playing second fiddle to the relatively much rarer C-108: Artfire.

Stepper in Japanese packaging.

Why would I be interested in getting a vintage Stepper when I already have 2 pieces of the TFC reissue Stepper, one might ask. A few very simple few reasons come to mind:
  • vintage is vintage, no reissue can ever replace a vintage piece.
  • if we don't count the white Headmaster heads from 1987, I have almost every single Japanese G1 Transformer MIB and to complete the sweep, Stepper is essential.
  • the quality and construction of a vintage piece is far superior to a reissue.
  • it comes in an absolutely gorgeous box with beautiful box art and with a styrofoam insert.

18 May 2013

Takara Transformers SCFs - ACT 3 Chase figures - Battle damaged Convoy and Reformatting Megatron

Previous post - Takara Transformers SCFs - ACT 2 Chase figures - Convoy w/ Megatron and rocket pack, clear Rodimus Convoy w/ Matrix

Update 18 May 2013 - updated with some detailed photos of battle damage Convoy and comparison of ACT 3 chase figures with their regular counterparts.

Previously, I have talked about the chase figures for ACT 1 and ACT 2. So far, each ACTs' chase figures have been highly desirable, special and has an undeniable place in Transformers lore, mythos and history. The figures for this present ACT 3 is no exception to the iconic status of the chase figures for ACT 1 and ACT 2 and in fact continues to build upon the tradition of using the chase figures to pay homage to key scenes or particular battles in the Transformers animated series.

For ACT3 of the Takara's SCF line, the 2 chase figures are:
  1. Battle damaged Convoy; and
  2. Reformatting Megatron. 
Battle damaged Convoy is the third Convoy chase figure in a row that is based on the Convoy mold - in each of ACT 1, ACT 2 and ACT 3, there has been a Convoy chase figure. Reformatting Megatron is the second Megatron chase figure after ACT 1's Metallic Megatron with flail.

Notwithstanding the reuse of the Convoy and Megatron molds, these 2 chase figures are once again, steeped in Transformer mythos and significance - they are both homages to scenes in Transformers: The Movie (1986) ("TFTM").

Here they are together.

- Battle damaged Convoy -

This chase figure is a straight repaint of ACT 1's regular Convoy figure. It can be seen that a lot of effort has been spent on the paint applications. Even the 2 windows on Convoy's chest has crack lines on them. And the portion where he got hit by Megatron's laser sword (and later laser-gun) is blackened.

16 May 2013

Review - Dr Wu Vanguard upgrades for Classics / Henkei Seekers - Starscream,Thundercracker and Skywarp

I bought these together with a number of other things week before last. To be honest, I don't know what they are called and really cannot be concerned enough to find out.

So, I will just call them Dr Wu Vanguard upgrades.

What they actually are, is in fact more interesting than what they are called. From the photo below, it can clearly been seen that these upgrades were meant for Classics / Henkei seekers - it is meant to be their arm lasers. What also stands out is the nice illustrations on each individual card - obviously meant to be Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp.

The back of the packaging also has bespoke art.

13 May 2013

The Binaltech Story continues... BT-17: Black Convoy is here!

Previous post - The Binaltech Story continues - The search (re)starts

As I mentioned in the previous post, Wonderfest exclusive BT-17: Black Convoy had arrived last Saturday.

Now, it's time to let his darkness, shine!

Before that, I'd just like to recognise where I bought it from - Entertainment Hobby Shop JUNGLE. I would like to thank them for their prompt and efficient service and very good packaging and communications. I received the item about 2 days after the time it was shipping out, which was awesome. Thank you JUNGLE staff!

So here he is, his dark majesty Black Convoy. Not Nemesis Prime, but Black Convoy. This is him in MISB status... erm, not sure if I can call it that. But its not MOSC either... so is it in a sealed box or a sealed card? I can't tell.

The front of the packaging. What I really like about this release, although it matched the Alternators type packaging, it the purity and simplicity of the base - white words on purple background. It just makes this packaging a lot of classy than the US released Alternators.

12 May 2013

Pick of the day - Bleach anime - Ichimaru Gin (市丸 ギン)

Today's pick of the day - Sunday, what a fun day! 

Yup, it's not a Transformers post. There has been lots of Transformers excitement of late, and I was inspired by a comment by long-time reader of my blog KUMA-NIN, to actually post something on Bleach. 

Bleach (aka ブリーチ in Japanese, or 死神 in Hong Kong / Taiwan) is a long running Manga and Anime that I have been following since 2005 / 2006. It's a beautiful blend of the old and the new and at least for the first 65 episodes of the anime, was extremely refreshing as far as anime goes. Since I'm a collector, I of course have collected some Bleach paraphernalia over time.

 My Bleach display in my current place.
(top row: Hitsugaya Toushiro, Kuchiki Byakuya, Ichimaru Gin, Aizen Sousuke, Urahara Kisuke)
(bottom row: Kurosakai Ichigo, Grimmjow, Hitsugaya Toushiro, Matsumoto Rangiku, Hisagi Shuhei, Kira Izuru)

However, since Transformers are that all encompassing, I'd almost completely forgot that I also have lots of Bleach stuff and collect the series as well! (KUMA-NIN, should we 'blame' this on Maz too?).

11 May 2013

The Binaltech Story continues... the search (re)starts

I blame Maz. Just so you know.

A couple of weeks ago, we started talking about Transformers: Binaltechs (or commonly known as "BTs"). Over instant messaging and other media. Maz was saying what an awesome line it was, and guess what, I agreed.

In truth, other than a handful of pieces, I myself have (always had) a nearly complete run of BTs, each bought from retail at the time of their release. 

So in a sense, the conversations with Maz pushed me closer and closer to the edge, where falling over means I would embark on (perhaps) completing my BT collection.

Then Maz released his articles on TF Source, one after another... "BINALTECH BT-01 TO BT-04", "BINALTECH BT-05 TO BT-08" and most recently "BINALTECH BT-09 TO BT-12". While the first article pushed me over the edge, the second and third one irreversibly knocked me right into the chasm of BT collecting once more.

So, just so you know, I blame Maz.

08 May 2013

Takara Transformers SCFs - ACT 2 Chase figures - Convoy w/ Megatron and rocket pack, clear Rodimus Convoy w/ Matrix

This. This, I have been really waiting for.

The Takara SCF ACT2 Chase figures - (left) Convoy with Megatron gun and Sideswipe's rocketpack; and (right) Rodimus Convoy with Matrix, transluscent version (aka Hot Rod mid-transformation into Rodimus Prime)

First, about Convoy...

Among all the SCF Chase figures out there, it is the ACT 2 Convoy with Megatron gun and Sideswipe's rocketpack chase figure (hereinafter, referred to as "MTMTE Part 2 Convoy") that has been tugging and tugging at my heartstrings since it was first released back in 2001. During those Clarke Quay days, I never saw the MTMTE Part 2 Convoy chase figure, just never saw it. Knew it existed and wanted it, but just could not find it.

Also, Chase figures would go for around SGD$50 to $150 back then, depending on which Chase figure it was. So even if I found it, I'd likely not be able to afford  it.

Why is this figure so special to me? It comes down to a number of key reasons, really. Here they are:

07 May 2013

Acquisitions - FansProject not Wildrider, BT-20: Argent Meister and Dr Wu Seeker cannons

It's been awhile since I have listed acquisitions here. To be honest, the acquiring never stopped, just that I've been slack and listed some but not others.

This neat little lot, I bought last Saturday. Nothing very controversial or difficult to get, 4 pieces of third party products and BT-20.

Here we have from left to right:

- FansProject Causality CA-10: T-Bone MISB. Name makes no sense to me. How is the name even reminiscent of Wildrider?

- Dr Wu upgrade parts for the Classics / Henkei Seekers - Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp. These look like they would fit nice and appears better than the large silly monstrosities that passes as cannons originally part of the seeker toys.

- BT-20: Argent Meister MIB. Why am I now trying to finish up my BT collection? I blame Maz and his poetic words and beautiful photographs. See what I mean: "BINALTECH BT-01 TO BT-04" and "BINALTECH BT-05 TO BT-08"

05 May 2013

Must've been away from eBay too long, because these prices are shocking

2 days ago, I was on eBay looking at some HoC figures to prop up my ever-growing SCF army (more on that in later posts), and I happened across a number of auction lots for G1 Black Zarak parts.

'Ah', I thought, 'perhaps it's time to finally complete my second Black Zarak'. You see, aside from my pristine MIB Black Zarak, I also have another loose Black Zarak to display and to 'play' with (eek! really? GPS!).

The seller of this loose Black Zarak, a guy named newausbot78 (a horrid irresponsible seller) claimed that the Black Zarak was complete. However, when it arrived, it was missing the silver lift parts. He said he would send the parts, but never did and just never contacted anyone again. I'm not the only victim, several other OZ Former forum members fell prey too.

So, long story short, I needed a silver lift to complete the second Black Zarak.

Enter this batch of Black Zarak parts auctions and lo and behold, there was the exact thing I needed. It was slated to end during lunch time today, and up to 30 seconds before the auction ended, the price was US$6.50, yup, six-dollars-and-fifty-cents. 

So I put in my bid, at $45 (sounded exorbitant to me).

When the auction ended, bam! 

Price ended at $90. Nine-zero-dollars. For a mere Black Zarak lift. I was staring at the screen in disbelief.

Now take a look.

I then went to check out the other auctions that I watched, but did not bid on. 

04 May 2013

Collection streamlining - Phase 1 complete

Unknown to many, I'm streamlining my collection and have been for the past 1.5 months.

I've sold off quite a number of pieces - these included toys from the following lines: Classics, Generations, United, Henkei, TF Movie, BotCon, Robot Heroes, Robot Masters, third party TFs and etc.

Whilst its no secret, I suspect that the majority of readers here will not have heard or seen the sales because I've had them all listed on Yahoo Hong Kong, and with Mandarin descriptions no less (thanks to E for drafting).

Selling on Yahoo HK is pretty cool because I never have to post out anything. When a person wins an auction, we will just arrange for a day and time to meet up in person and transact. The most common meeting points are the train stations that are near toy shops or near my office. Its convenient to meet up and transact and then wander off for toy shopping before heading home in the evenings. It's great fun I gotta admit.

Last 30 days' TOP TEN Popular Posts