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Maz
2013-06-18, 10:12 PM
What do you get if you cross G1 Transformers characters, moulds from the Binaltech/Alternity conceptual era with Japan’s premier touring car series made famous in the Western world by legendary Sony PlayStation racing series Gran Turismo? Other than the messy shrapnel from my blown combined-hobby-overloaded mind, the result is Takara Tomy’s 2013 exclusive sub-line “Transformers GT”. Combining the much-used 1:32 scale Transformers Alternity Nissan R35 GT-R mould with the Japanese Super GT racing series (formerly JGTC), Transformers GT continues the recent trend of fully licensed car manufacturer branding on new Transformers. And I for one could not be happier.

Transformers GT – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/transformers-gt-part-1/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/xgta01.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/xgta02.jpg

All the best
Maz

Cliffjumper
2013-06-18, 11:37 PM
God's balls those are ugly, ugly things. Love the little PVC anime figures, once Takara had hit on the paedo/pervert market they were never going to stay away for long, were they? Do their clothes come off?

Skyquake87
2013-06-19, 08:56 AM
I have the Alternity Black Convoy based on this mould and he's actually pretty nice. I think the reason Optimus and Magnus look a bit chunky here is the expanded rear end of the vehicle mode which makes the shins look massive.

The detailing with the sponsor logos is lovely and the packaging is great (as always with these sorts of Takara sets) and the PVC figures are adorable. I like that the blue one is Star Saber too. i was expecting a totally predictable outing for Ultra Magnus as the Prime repaint. Great article, Maz! :)

ganon578
2013-06-19, 02:10 PM
I don't mind the race car modes; they're actually really slick looking with the spoilers, etc. But the robot modes look horribly jumbled to me, and maybe it's just all the sponsor decals. Really out of my price range anyways, so it doesn't matter much to me.

Maz
2013-06-19, 02:20 PM
God's balls those are ugly, ugly things. Love the little PVC anime figures, once Takara had hit on the paedo/pervert market they were never going to stay away for long, were they? Do their clothes come off?

Really think they're that ugly? I am starting to realise from the reaction across various forums that people just are not seeing these toys the same way as I am, but then I have grown up on Gran Turismo on PlayStation and Super GT/JGTC race cars are part of the fabric of my youth and hobbies. Before I saw "Star Saber" I saw a Calsonic Skyline as a Transformer and I was immediately sold.

I'm sure you already know the answer, but no the clothes don't come off the GT Sisters :)

I have the Alternity Black Convoy based on this mould and he's actually pretty nice. I think the reason Optimus and Magnus look a bit chunky here is the expanded rear end of the vehicle mode which makes the shins look massive.

The detailing with the sponsor logos is lovely and the packaging is great (as always with these sorts of Takara sets) and the PVC figures are adorable. I like that the blue one is Star Saber too. i was expecting a totally predictable outing for Ultra Magnus as the Prime repaint. Great article, Maz! :)

Because I never owned the Alternity toys, I actually didn't think of what you've mentioned above. The wider rear and general addition of racing parts has added to the general mass of parts surrounding the toys in robot mode. Since I had nothing to compare them with, it was no big deal at all. Of course, I'm a massive Binaltech fan so a bit of kibble doesn't bother me, and I actually feel the rear parts of the car tidy up beautifully around the ankles and feet in robot mode, very very impressed.

All the best
Maz

Cliffjumper
2013-06-19, 06:03 PM
Really think they're that ugly?

I like the alt modes but I think the colours - while no doubt realistic - don't translate too well onto the robot modes; they mainly just remind me of the various BT Smokescreen KOs. Probably doesn't help that none of the liveries are exactly design classics, more big blocks of primary colours with decals slapped on haphazardly like a boy racer (the '11 Wreckers suffered a lot from this too, what with NASCARs being horrific and everything).

Whereas something like G1 Smokescreen or the original Crasher from Gobots work beautifully - good strong livery designs that gel well with both modes.

Maz
2013-06-20, 12:10 AM
I like the alt modes but I think the colours - while no doubt realistic - don't translate too well onto the robot modes; they mainly just remind me of the various BT Smokescreen KOs. Probably doesn't help that none of the liveries are exactly design classics, more big blocks of primary colours with decals slapped on haphazardly like a boy racer (the '11 Wreckers suffered a lot from this too, what with NASCARs being horrific and everything).

Whereas something like G1 Smokescreen or the original Crasher from Gobots work beautifully - good strong livery designs that gel well with both modes.

I can see where you're coming from, but the livery on Saber is a very iconic Japanese touring car scheme, the blue Calsonic Nissans have been pretty popular throughout their 2 decade history all the way back to the first racing Skylines in the old JGTC and JTCC.

I'm beginning to see my nerdy love of motor sport is making these more appealing to me than most :D

All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-06-28, 09:51 PM
Amongst the avalanche of exciting Transformers Masterpiece revelations, the imminent arrival of the biggest Transformers toy ever and Takara Tomy's Transformers Go! series, news of the Transformers GT official release got a little buried. While completely understandable due to the brand new nature of the aforementioned releases, the fandom's insatiable appetite for Masterpiece and the hulking mass that is Generations Metroplex, it's a shame that Transformers GT Prime and Saber have been relegated to the status of expensive Alternity repaints when there's just so much more going on here.

Transformers GT – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/transformers-gt-part-2/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/xgtb251.jpg

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http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/xgtb201.jpg

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-06-28, 10:40 PM
The markings do go a long way towards hiding the join lines...

Possibly the best use of the Alternity moulds, which themselves turned out better than a lot of the Binalts, but they've become also-rans in a race of good (QC issues aside) product. As extras above and beyond homages in main lines, Masterpiece and Classics/Henkei cater for most tastes.

This is possibly going to be a problem for Hasbro/Takara going forwards, and not just for collector-oriented releases. They're down to doing relatively minor variations and random stuff like Beast Hunters... almost bordering on G2 wackiness. In terms of Manta Force, the Stinkhorn era stuff. A tight turnaround of new lines to pick up the next wave of kids seems to be working, at least for now, but how much do prices have to increase before it's no longer viable?

Maz
2013-07-16, 10:50 PM
10 years, 2 toy-lines and six photos.

Six photos depicting two upcoming toys that captured the imagination of the Transformers fandom and collecting community and have not released their grip since. Those toys would become the BT-01 Binaltech Smokescreen and the MP-1 Masterpiece Convoy. The day was Thursday July 17th 2003. The San Diego Comic-Con had just started, and during “Preview Night”, the attending Transformers fans had been given their first glimpse of what was about to be revealed the following day – albeit a whole continent away. However, the seeds of that imminent revelation had been sown even earlier. So, let’s take a few steps even further back and tread the path that led to that unforgettable day 10 years ago.

Binaltech and Masterpiece: 10 Years Ago | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/binaltech-and-masterpiece-10-years-ago/) <- CLICK TO READ

Facts, dates, article concept and text provided kindly by Nevermore

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/xten05.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/xten08.jpg

All the best
Nevermore + Maz

Maz
2013-07-17, 08:06 PM
This picture alone should be enough to capture your imagination....

http://20thcenturytoycollector.com/wp-content/gallery/transformers-laserbeak-mb-new/mb-laserbeak-angled-text.jpg

A fantastic piece of writing that takes you from start to finish where the utterly awesome and unique Euro single-packed G1 Laserbeak variant is concerned, and as meticulously researched and beautifully presented as you could want. Nobody does it better than Mijo. Enjoy:

20th Century Toy Collector » Blog Archive » MB Laserbeak revisited (http://20thcenturytoycollector.com/posts/2013/07/13/mb-laserbeak-revisited/)

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-07-17, 08:28 PM
They definitely picked a good one to lead with. Introducing Sideswipe first wouldn't have had half the impact.

Doesn't feel like ten years.

Denyer
2013-07-17, 08:40 PM
Always strikes as bizarre that it is/was economically worthwhile to repackage toys.

Neat site!

Cyberstrike nTo
2013-07-17, 11:48 PM
Yeah especially where the language is pretty much the same like the US and UK. I got Candian G1 Sixshot in the box with English and French text.

Warcry
2013-07-18, 05:50 AM
Smokescreen made a huge impression on me, for sure. In fact, he's the biggest reason why I started collecting (deliberately, as opposed to occasionally impulse-buying) new figures instead of saving all my money for G1 reissues and Beast-era stuff. Those pictures proved to me that not only could Hasbro design modern, articulated toys with the look and feel of the original characters, but that they actually wanted to.

It was a shame that the rest of the line never quite approached that level of character fidelity and design slickness again, and even more of a shame that it was so poorly distributed that many fans missed out on 2/3 of the figures released under the banner.

They definitely picked a good one to lead with. Introducing Sideswipe first wouldn't have had half the impact.
Smokescreen's a brilliant piece of work, isn't he? Even after a decade I'd say he's one of the five best figures to ever come out of the Transformers line. Most of the Masterpieces wish they were as good as he was.

Doesn't feel like ten years.
It didn't for me...until I looked at the ten years worth of toys that I'd collected between then and now. Now I just feel old.

Clay
2013-07-18, 05:50 AM
Doesn't feel like ten years.

Time is accelerating.

Knightdramon
2013-07-20, 09:58 AM
Definitely doesn't feel like 10 years.

At around the spot of BT 10 to their end, I got 50euros pocket money each month [still in school]. Turns out 50 euros was the then price for one binaltech shipped EMS from HLJ. You can bet I grew very hungry at school from Ravage to Wheeljack :lol:

BT did start out great, but honestly, there's so much you can do with a line locked in a big scale consisting of only cars. After you run through the general roster of car bots, you're just going around in circles.

Memories of the clusterf*ck that was distribution of alternators in European countries...ah the beauty of it. Kind of sad that one of the first lessons I learned while collecting was "Just import and don't wait for the damn things", but it did pay off in the ensuing years and it still stands today.

I still have memories of my Alt Smokescreen been viciously brutalized because I could not get the thing back to alt mode the first few times. I believe when I actually did it, I packed him up and threw the box in the attic for a good 5 months :lol:

Maz
2013-07-23, 11:21 PM
Who is “Tigertrack” and why does he deserve a Transformers Masterpiece release? Well, he’s just a yellow repaint of MP-12 Masterpiece Lambor (Sideswipe), an homage to the 2004 reissue exclusive “Tigertrack” – another yellow repaint of G1 reissue Sideswipe, right? A poor man’s Masterpiece Sunstreaker, right? Wrong. Over the next 2 weeks I hope to convince you that there is much more to his character, origin and significance than just being a soulless repaint and a meaningless ‘Yellow Sideswipe’ created by Takara to make the MP-12 mould more financially viable.

Who Is Tigertrack? – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/who-is-tigertrack-part-1/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/xtt02.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/xtt16.jpg

All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-07-30, 10:54 PM
Who is Tigertrack and why does he deserve a Transformers Masterpiece release? That’s the question we asked last week, and we saw that yellow was the colour we could originally have gotten “Sideswipe” in for Transformers. Had this plan gone two steps further – stock art and photography – before being changed, we’d have another Blue Bluestreak on our hands. A prestigious Diaclone origin and a tricky reissue exclusive gave the ‘Yellow Sideswipe’ a mysterious aura, but “Tigertrack” has finally achieved deserved recognition as part of Takara Tomy’s flagship Masterpiece line.

Who Is Tigertrack? – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/who-is-tigertrack-part-2/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/xtt27.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/xtt56.jpg

All the best
Maz

Knightdramon
2013-07-30, 11:40 PM
To be blunt, the only reason Tigertrack deserves an MP release is because he's a very, very easy repaint of Sideswipe, nothing more, nothing less.

Plus, he came out at a time when Sideswipe and Red Alert's prices were through the roof due to shortage of supply and misinformation of reissues.

If anything, he's the "easy" choice for people who wanted a semi official character and mould without paying 100+ USD for a 50 USD figure.

Phrased in much fewer words, but essentially the meat of his release ;)

Denyer
2013-07-31, 12:23 AM
It's a sweet mould in general. Although much as I love the original deco, if the G2 version had been announced earlier I'd probably have waited for that.

Maz
2013-07-31, 12:32 AM
To be blunt, the only reason Tigertrack deserves an MP release is because he's a very, very easy repaint of Sideswipe, nothing more, nothing less.

That's a very one dimensional view, in my opinion and quite hastily dismisses everything I tried to make a point of over the 2 articles. It sounds like you'd already made your mind up before reading any of what's written. If indeed you read it at all?

You'd know he wasn't executed in such a soulless "easy repaint" way. Granted Takara Tomy have not gone to the levels or pains I have to highlight the significance of the release in the grander scheme of things over the 2 articles, but it doesn't mean the significance isn't there, that's the whole reason I wrote the articles - to highlight the fact that it isn't just a straight repaint. Your comments are basically telling me that I failed miserably, in a tremendously cold and matter of fact kind of way.


If anything, he's the "easy" choice for people who wanted a semi official character and mould without paying 100+ USD for a 50 USD figure.

Phrased in much fewer words, but essentially the meat of his release ;)

That's ultimately your own loss as you don't seem to be able to open your mind up to the fact that a Sideswipe in yellow could be more than just the yellow repaint you've labelled it.

I don't know what it is about your tone or reply, but this is one of the most disheartening article responses I've gotten in over a decade of writing them. And because it comes from you, someone who had previously to my mind always had a very insightful opinion on anything I'd written that you'd commented on, I'm just so disappointed.

I can see why it's easy to believe Takara Tomy gave this release the green light - because it's just new colours and slight re-jigging of parts used etc - but to actually say that's the only reason it deserves a release - because it would be so little work - that completely goes against everything I've tried to express.

All the best
Maz

Knightdramon
2013-07-31, 10:10 AM
Heh, this is what text-based replies nearly always fail to convey; tone. Not disheartening or snobby in my instance, yet it probably came to as such.

I did read both articles [read the first one when you first released it, waited for the second one to comment as it was an ongoing effort].

I do get the history behind Tigertrack and as a basis of origin, like it more than the rest of the MP exclusive repaints. Barring perhaps Black MP Rodimus, who is essentially G2 colours in MP form.

I just tend to view things and releases in a bit more pragmatic way. At this point, with 3 releases and a fourth pending, the MP Lambor mould is as much milked as a seeker mould, which can be a good, bad or neutral matter depending on your view.

Without a doubt Takara plans and releases most of their figures with repaint-ability options in mind, either as mostly generic black repaints, sometimes comic repaints, comic only characters or various other obscure or historical references in the franchise. In this case, Tigertrack fits the last bill.

So again, apologies if my tone seemed offensive, but I have described my train of thought as accurately as I could above. Hope it helps ease the snide tone of my previous comment ;)

Maz
2013-07-31, 10:27 AM
Heh, this is what text-based replies nearly always fail to convey; tone. Not disheartening or snobby in my instance, yet it probably came to as such.

I did read both articles [read the first one when you first released it, waited for the second one to comment as it was an ongoing effort].

I do get the history behind Tigertrack and as a basis of origin, like it more than the rest of the MP exclusive repaints. Barring perhaps Black MP Rodimus, who is essentially G2 colours in MP form.

I just tend to view things and releases in a bit more pragmatic way. At this point, with 3 releases and a fourth pending, the MP Lambor mould is as much milked as a seeker mould, which can be a good, bad or neutral matter depending on your view.

Without a doubt Takara plans and releases most of their figures with repaint-ability options in mind, either as mostly generic black repaints, sometimes comic repaints, comic only characters or various other obscure or historical references in the franchise. In this case, Tigertrack fits the last bill.

So again, apologies if my tone seemed offensive, but I have described my train of thought as accurately as I could above. Hope it helps ease the snide tone of my previous comment ;)

Hi there,

I really appreciate you taking the time to clarify and it does make it much clearer to me what you were trying to say :up:

I should apologise also for what looks like quite an overreaction on my behalf, I've always valued your input here and on TFW so I do hope I haven't discouraged you from weighing in as you have in the past!

All the best
Maz

Blackjack
2013-07-31, 02:00 PM
Damn, your little part 2 review really makes me want a version of this mold. That is one gorgeous car.

Warcry
2013-07-31, 03:48 PM
Damn, your little part 2 review really makes me want a version of this mold. That is one gorgeous car.
The Countach is just about the prettiest car in the world, isn't it? I've never been a fan of the simplified cartoon model that the MP uses for it's robot mode, but I have to admit it looks really good in Tigertrack's colours.

That said, I definitely agree with Knightdramon -- as interesting as the design's Diaclone history and near-inclusion in the 1984 line is, from Takara's perspective it's nothing but a cheap cash-in. And though it's got a lot of meaning to folks like Maz who take an interest in the pre-TF days, most of the fandom seems to care about him even less than MP Acid Storm. Which is a shame, because after looking at those comparison shots I think he's the prettiest of the three Lambos.

inflatable dalek
2013-07-31, 07:56 PM
Yeah, whilst the character does have an interesting history (well, at least if you find all those Diaclone variants for the cars interesting like wot I do) I doubt Takara put any more thought into their selection than "Easy repaint". Though whoever wrote whatever character bio stuff that's on the box/ in with the toy would have put the effort it, Japan love their slightly bonkers ways of including Diaclone repaints in the cartoon continuity.

But equally of course, Takare would have put exactly the same level of thought into Ultra Magnus, Thundercracker, Soundblaster and Skywarp despite the history of those characters, so it's not a badge of shame really.

Maz
2013-08-06, 08:49 PM
That’s right, 100 articles since September 2011 when I started writing for the Source Blog, excluding Collector Interviews. It’s customary to see in milestones such as this by taking stock of what has gone before, but we will be doing that in 4 weeks as we hit the 2 year anniversary of the Source Blog anyway. Instead of just looking at what we’ve featured on the Blog, why don’t we take stock of where we are in the Transformers collecting hobby more generally and holistically?

The Collector Interviews we have carried out over the last year and more have demonstrated, through the wisdom of our interviewees, just how much the Transformers collecting scene and community have changed over the last 10 to 15 years. Every year that goes by brings us more fascinating Transformers product to collect or helps establish a deeper appreciation for what has gone before, depending on people’s preferences, perspective or circumstances. So is this now the best time to be a collector?


Intermission ~ Article 100 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/intermission-article-100/) <- CLICK TO READ

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http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xhun35.jpg

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-08-06, 09:30 PM
Any thoughts on where the franchise goes from here?

(Other than more MP and Generations designs... convention reveals this year are showing a lot of love for MTMTE, which is unexpected and awesome.)

Knightdramon
2013-08-07, 11:54 AM
I think it's not that much MTMTE love, rather Hasbro FINALLY realizing that the comics can be used to sell tie-in toys, and integrating designs back and forth.

Kind of what happened by accident in AHM.

I think the franchise made the eventual schism between collectors and general public. You've got those borderline garbage BH upscaled legions for children and starters, and the comic tie-ins for the actual collector, while both can cater to either audience.

Maz
2013-08-15, 10:46 PM
What's scorching hot today in vintage Transformers collecting and often labelled "rare", causing a frenzy on auction and realising astronomical end prices? Japanese exclusives like Liokaiser, Black Shadow, Blue Bacchus, Big Powered, Guard City and Battle Gaia? Peruvian minibots? US Defensor giftsets and high-grade sealed Megatrons and Soundwaves? Well it wasn't always that way, over a decade ago it was a different series of variant toys that grabbed the headlines, were considered "rare" and were hyped. Even though they aren't that hard to get today, it's worth paying tribute to yesterday's heroes.

Yesterday’s Heroes | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/yesterdays-heroes/) <- CLICK TO READ

(Recommended soundtrack: "Outro" by M83)

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xyes01.jpg
http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xyes11.jpg

All the best
Maz

Clay
2013-08-16, 08:11 PM
Yeah, it's kind of strange to remember that any of those would have been a small fortune ten years ago. Reissues helped drive the price down of the originals as well as providing an alternative for anyone that just wanted a black Soundwave that could hold two tapes.

What I find most different about collecting now versus a decade ago is just how much product is being produced... when I started back in 2003, the options were the extant product up to that point and Armada, with Energon and Alternators on the horizon. Now... we are well and truly spoiled for choice.

Denyer
2013-08-16, 08:19 PM
How much of that do you think there was any intention / plan behind on the part of Hasbro? Energon was generally better than Armada for moulds, and at the time there a fair bit of excitement about Cybertron versus its predecessors.

At the time IIRC adult collectors were considered to make up about 10% of the potential market (anyone have a more recent estimate and/or am I just misremembering? It may have risen a bit with the increased number of homage figures being released now) -- so there was some value to always having a "next big thing".

Although quality control has suffered on retail lines, things do seem to have continued to improve from my perspective -- Alternators threw up a handful of decent moulds, and the Classics/Generations/etc and Masterpiece lines are producing quite consistently exciting stuff and I'm more interested in the plastic side of the franchise now than ever.

Clay
2013-08-16, 08:43 PM
How much of that do you think there was any intention / plan behind on the part of Hasbro?

Three things come to mind when recalling the franchise over the past decade: the movie, the movie, and the movie. The brand is simply a part of general pop culture now in a way that I'd argue it wasn't before. Before 2007, Transformers were still just a robust toy line with little snare on people that didn't grow up with it in their formative years. The movie didn't just draw people back that had grown up with toys and cartoons, it created a new... entity in the public mind. Now the brand's more on par with other fictional universes like Star Trek (Paramount's words), Star Wars, Marvel comic movies, etc.

The amount of product being produced now is, I think, a response to that boom rather than catalyst for it. I think the size and success of TRANSFORMERS right now is beyond anything Hasbro could have planned or predicted in 2005 or 2006.

... I should really start writing a 30th anniversary article about this... my mind is percolating.

Denyer
2013-08-16, 08:57 PM
Yeah, movies taken as a given -- but before that there did seem to be an emphasis on upping the ante; bigger and more detailed figures, mixing in more homages, etc.

Knightdramon
2013-08-16, 09:08 PM
Before the movies fans were happy with small homages; a green helicopter in Energon called Springer, the energon gestalts which were centrally based on 3 G1 combiners, Galaxy Convoy having lots of details from various Primes of the past, and so on.

It wasn't until after the movies that a more vocal minority became seemingly the majority and now we have 3rd party stuff because "hasbro doesn't care about us".

And funnily enough, releases like the elusive Soundblaster were treated as gospel, untouched japanese vintage goodness and all that, and now you can find him on clearance if you search enough.

Rare and exclusive items are no longer judged by their geographical coverage but by their unit numbers. HA Jazz, Barricade and Mudflap are today's Soundblaster but not because they were released in just one continent and didn't have media coverage until decades later, but because they were widely released alongside HA Bumblebee time and again.

The collector oriented lines are still in their infancy though, perhaps a step back from what they were in 2004-2007.

Cliffjumper
2013-08-17, 12:13 PM
Yeah, movies taken as a given -- but before that there did seem to be an emphasis on upping the ante; bigger and more detailed figures, mixing in more homages, etc.

I dunno, the homages didn't really go apeshit until Classics just before the first film. Before that there were probably a handful a line at most, and then often they'd be the second use of a figure (like the Armada G1 Thrust repaint); up against that Armergtron seemed to go out of its' way to not homage things, with old names slapped on figures at all but random (Ironhide the child association character, Red Alert the medic, Mirage the Decepticon boat, Nightbeat the shit bike, Smokescreen the cocking crane; I mean, seriously, how the **** does Smokescreen come close to working for a bright orange crane? I hope some ****er got fired for that).

After Classics, and the first round of movie peripherals that did similar things (the WalMart Deluxes and some of the G1 redeco'd movie figures like Jazz that would pass in the right light) was the point where fans especially went aggressively looking for and demanding homages to whoever. Before that it was like a nice little Easter Egg if your Universe Ironhide Spychanger was coloured like Trailbreaker; now all the matchstick-armed rabble-rousers want to storm Hasbro HQ to demand a Generations Whichever Random Guy James Roberts Has Made En Vogue This Week.

inflatable dalek
2013-08-17, 04:48 PM
I don't know, I don't think fans were especially expecting or demanding IDW based toys six months ago, bar the Drift debacle it's not as if there was much form for recent comic based toys (what there was mainly seemed to be confined to the War Within stuff in the Titanium line).

The whole cross pollination with IDW thing seems to be something Hasbro have done off their own back. How much impact it has on sales I've no idea (at AA you could tell which of the Spotlights had really hit with the fans: No Megatron's, very few Trailbreakers a decent amount of Orion Pax's and you couldn't move for 100's of unwanted Bumblebee's. The real question though is how they sell on the retail shelf to kids) but if nothing else having a pre-existing design to work from probably saves them some development time.

Clay
2013-08-17, 04:53 PM
I dunno, the homages didn't really go apeshit until Classics just before the first film. Before that there were probably a handful a line at most, and then often they'd be the second use of a figure (like the Armada G1 Thrust repaint); up against that Armergtron seemed to go out of its' way to not homage things, with old names slapped on figures at all but random (Ironhide the child association character, Red Alert the medic, Mirage the Decepticon boat, Nightbeat the shit bike, Smokescreen the cocking crane; I mean, seriously, how the **** does Smokescreen come close to working for a bright orange crane? I hope some ****er got fired for that).

Yeah, they've certainly settled into a pattern now, haven't they? Cybertron was the last line, for better or worse, than introduced a glut of characters that weren't homages. Since the movies, we've had Animated and Prime which both have fairly 'familiar' casts. Cybertron debuted Ransack and Crumplezone, Evac, Vector Prime, etc... which are basically non-entities now, but at least they weren't derivative non-entities. The expectation and practice of reusing characters is such that, if Armada were started now, they wouldn't have bothered with creating Hot Shot... he'd just be Bumblebee from the get-go.

inflatable dalek
2013-08-17, 05:01 PM
Though wasn't the only reason he wasn't Bumblebee was because of names rights issues at the time? [/Pathetically pedantic]

Clay
2013-08-17, 05:05 PM
Though wasn't the only reason he wasn't Bumblebee was because of names rights issues at the time? [/Pathetically pedantic]

I DON'T REMEMBER IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO.

But the overall point still stands... Energon aside, Armada and Cybertron had a majority of new characters instead of self-referencing homages. Whether the trend of Animated and Prime comes from audience expectation of familiarity or Hasbro not wanting to jumble up the good thing they've got going is hard to say.

Denyer
2013-08-17, 06:24 PM
you couldn't move for 100's of unwanted Bumblebee's. The real question though is how they sell on the retail shelf to kids)
That was all that was left at TRU last time I was in. I quite like the mould but hopefully they're not overpacked.

Energon aside, Armada and Cybertron had a majority of new characters instead of self-referencing homages
Yeah, there was actually something to contrast the homages to and it felt like a gradual reveal and Hasbro realising that there was sufficient reason to put effort into more original line inspired stuff to get as much additional trade as possible, hold onto trademarks, etc. With rising costs, it wouldn't be a revelation that adults make up a bit more of the market... obviously not to the same extent as the comics market, but there's more of that.

Knightdramon
2013-08-17, 08:05 PM
That was all that was left at TRU last time I was in. I quite like the mould but hopefully they're not overpacked.



They can't be overpacked. In what was, hopefully, Hasbro's continuing moment of brilliance, each toy was packed equally in that generations case. 2 of each in the case of 8.

Which, sadly, means that people don't want Bumblebee any longer.

Denyer
2013-08-17, 08:19 PM
If they do, they want a BB that's in the media they like, and a character they like... but whilst I've no idea about Prime, IDW Bumblebee has been unsympathetic, and Movie Bumblebee was barely characterised and is already out there in massive numbers.

Good to hear about the ratios though. Surprised, as Pax apparently sold out quicker than Megatron locally.

Cliffjumper
2013-08-17, 09:17 PM
I dunno... Bumblebee's name probably does a decent trade with unwitting relatives and there's a certain amount of design continuity between some - a nipper who wants Movie Bee isn't going to go spare if he gets Prime Bee (who, incidentally, is rather fun and doesn't have half as much screentime as you'd expect; he's The Muscle while muscular Bulkhead is the kid association character).

I would also say any Bumblebee will shift eventually as long as he's in a film sooner or later for much the same reason. The character's had an incredibly successful relaunch as far as the public and casuals are concerned; his previous high water mark in exposure terms was being the annoying little wuss in Seasons 1 & 2 - now he's right up there with Optimus Prime and probably ahead of Megatron in terms of a figurehead. People who don't know there was a cartoon in the eighties know who Bumblebee is.

I wonder how much of his ubiquity is down to retailers always wanting a new Bumblebee on the shelf rather than Hasbro being stubborn, in the same sort of way that Convoy's about the only Transformer that anyone in Japan cares about? I mean, how many figures of Spider-Man are there in Spider-Man lines compared to Venom or Aunt May? A ****ton more, because kids watch Spider-Man for Spider-Man,

Knightdramon
2013-08-17, 09:23 PM
The thing is, Spiderman promotes a single hero with a shit load of villains. Transformers can promote dozens and more heroes with equally many villains.

Sadly, Japan suffers in the aspect that as a culture, they idolize the hero or titular character and the rest are pretty much fodder to them. Gundam, Macross, Evangelion [thankfully to a lesser degree] and more series heavily promote the lead character, toy wise, and nothing else. If people think MP Convoy v 2.0 is bad, a MG Gundam RX78 V3.0 came out in Japan this month.

And that's V3.0 after V1, V1.5, different variations, new moulds, V2.0, again different variations and so on. :lol:

Cliffjumper
2013-08-18, 04:10 AM
But the same thing does basically happen with a lot of Western 'team' franchises - look at X-Men, compare the amount of exposure Wolverine gets compared to anyone else, right down to dominating the film series. Or the Avengers, where anything that doesn't feature the big five or six characters makes no impression on the masses. Or Snake-Eyes in GI Joe; it's supply and demand, Hasbro don't make 40 figures of someone if everyone hates them.

People in general don't want a cast of thousands for this sort of thing - the 2007 film had five Autobots in it and three Decepticons with something that could pass as a character; for the second one things stayed the same to the point where half the Transformers aren't named on screen.

Skyquake87
2013-08-18, 08:13 AM
This is true, with tons of faces on screen, its difficult to give them all screen time to show much in the way of personality. The G1 cartoon got around this by having various 'showcase' episodes for some characters, but the large cast was unwieldly, as poor old Bob found when writing the US comicbook.

I like the small cast thing, yet its a bit of shame that nowadays we just get slightly tweaked variants of the big names and few 'new' characters injected. I think this is why I like Knock Out so much in Prime, as he feels fresh and brings something a little bit interesting to the table - high camp and sadism! Everything else feels a bit of a dull retread of whats come before.

In terms of the article, its interesting that the Classics/ Masterpiece lines have largely replaced reissues of classic toys. I feel like I'm a bit of a minority whose happier appreciating older toys for what they were, rather than in these fancy upgrades. Part of me does wonder if that's largely informed by the generally poor availability of the Classics style figures over here and also because I personally find its the post '86 cast whose toys would most benefit from a reimagining. The Diaclone/ Microman moulds are ace and somehow the Classics stuff, with their all plastic take, somehow fail to recapture the same magic for me. Yet guys like Hot Rod and Springer really benefit from modern retakes.

This article makes me want to get out my silly E-Hobby baubles. Still love Deep Cover, Magnificus and the Insecticon Clones.

Denyer
2013-08-18, 08:52 AM
Bumblebee's name probably does a decent trade with unwitting relatives
How much is it like football strips, though? When we were kids the main "new" versions within the life of the line were things like Powermaster Prime and G2 Megatron... and whilst G2 and Classic Heroes brought around some old moulds, it was a chance to get stuff you missed rather than extras that might be in different colours.

Are there kids out there with lots of different Bumblebees in the same way that they might have a few Batman figures (except those are explicable as different uniforms)?

Thunderwave
2013-08-18, 11:15 AM
Are there kids out there with lots of different Bumblebees in the same way that they might have a few Batman figures (except those are explicable as different uniforms)?

Yep. My son was obsessed with Bumblebee for a while. He wanted to try and snag every new mold that came out.

And then he stopped and started actually looking at the various toys, which made him pick and choose which Bumblebees to get so he could snag more variety from the other figures that come out.

numbat
2013-08-18, 11:42 AM
There certainly is a dearth of new characters in Transformers nowadays. That's why I love RID Prime Voyager Thundertron so much. A totally new character, that turns into a robotic lion in a line full of relatively realistic earth vehicles, that's neither Autobot nor Decepticon but instead a brand new faction (Star Seeker), and is a peg-legged space pirate to boot (the transformation to robot requiring Thundertron to reove one of his feet to reveal the peg leg - classic!). Just how on Earth did that one come about? All of the Hasbro team's stifled creativity splashing out in one totally mental figure?

Cliffjumper
2013-08-18, 01:34 PM
Are there kids out there with lots of different Bumblebees in the same way that they might have a few Batman figures (except those are explicable as different uniforms)?

Well, I meant more from the point of view of a gran or someone being told their grandson's always on about Bumblebee and just hooking whichever one she spotted first, but yeh, kids collecting and/or upgrading similar figures isn't impossible, certainly no weirder than other things they spend money on.

Maz
2013-08-20, 10:44 PM
How do you spice up a Transformers niche sub-line that is struggling to garner attention and respect at a time when Takara Tomy, Hasbro and various 3rd Party companies are churning out all sorts of varied and quality product? Simple, add a villain. Not just any villain either, but that most iconic of Transformers despots, the Decepticon leader Megatron. In addition, make sure you promote the toys and series as widely as is appropriate, certainly to the most willing demographic; children and Japanese race fans.

Transformers GT – Part 3 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/transformers-gt-part-3/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xgtc09.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xgtc24.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xgtc28.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xgtc01.jpg

All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2013-08-20, 11:03 PM
Its a shame Alternity hasn't set the world on fire. The impact of Classics, maybe? These GT versions of the Convoy mould do look awesome, but feel a bit...money for old rope.

Knightdramon
2013-08-21, 05:08 PM
While Alternity is one of my favourite lines, I still can't bite into the GT series.

For one, they're all [heavy] retools of Convoy, a mould I personally had broken TWICE exactly the same way. It makes me a bit weary that I have to pay 70-100 USD for a mould I am afraid of handling.

Moreover, the line [both as alternity and alternity GT] is full of straight up repaints, with four original moulds [five if you get technical and include the GT retool]. It gets stale really fast.

Possibly others share the same views as me, that's why the line isn't as popular as it should be. The positive thing is that, with Alternity and MP right now, the push for licensed cars, modern and vintage, is bigger than ever. :up:

Denyer
2013-08-21, 08:22 PM
The designs just don't really connect with the iconic alt-modes for the characters they're applied to, which is always going to make for niche interest.

numbat
2013-08-23, 09:20 AM
I just don't think the moulds work for the classic characters they are being used for in this line. Plus, while it's nice to have a few repaints of a Seeker mould, using more-or-less an identical mould for Prime and Megatron plus any other characters just seems weird. I certainly wouldn't throw money at repaints normally, especially ones which are so poorly thought through with regard to connecting with the characters.

I'd love to see more licensed car collectors' Transformers (and Masterpiece seems to be going down this route, which is awesome, and suits me perfectly!), but I'd prefer they have some relevance to the classic characters they are used to portray. In the worst case though, they could at least differ significantly in terms of transformation, even if the same alternate mode is part of the line's gimmick!

So, yup, not for me.

Clay
2013-08-24, 02:20 AM
From Maz's article:

Collectors may have picked up Prime out of obligation, or maybe Saber due to the novelty and good looks, but it’s only when one puts all the Transformers GT cars together that the full effect and purpose of the line makes sense. These are racing cars, and every racing car needs rivals to race against. With three releases on the shelf now, a collector can produce a damn fine display and a solid attempt at a Super GT starting grid. Yes, they are all GT-Rs, but the liveries are so very distinct (with Prime and Megatron immediately recognisable) that a diorama will be anything but monotonous.

True, but there are other ways of building a race set. While I won't argue against the GT line having some of the best looking racing car decos for Transformers ever, using the same mold with only the heads and weapons changed gets monotonous very quickly, and downright poisonous at $100 per figure.

Compare the GT line so far with, for example, the Wreckers from Dark of the Moon. Leadfoot's availability and the mismatching of weaponized versus non-weaponized versions within the same size class aside, all three turn into a Chevy Impala in different ways. They're also far less intricate and delicate than the Alternity mold. It seems to me that, if Has/Tak wanted to put together a full racing set, that'd be a better way to go about doing it. Keep the complexity down to around Classics Jazz, license the car model, and then make six or seven different molds that transform different ways.

As the GT line is now, it's just too expensive for what amounts to a line of fantastically detailed repaints.

numbat
2013-08-24, 05:27 AM
Yup - I really loved how different each of the DOTM Wreckers was from one another, despite having the same alternate mode. A real shame all three weren't available at Human Alliance Class, and it would also have been nice to have them all weaponized or all standard Impalas at the same size-class, but hey. For me what's interesting in a Transformer is the transformation and seeing where all the alternate mode parts go in robot mode. So in some ways having several Transformers with the same alternate mode but totally different robot modes is the total bees knees. Having several Transformers with the same alternate modes and robot modes just with different heads and colours though is really dull (unless it's well established such as with the Seekers - although, frankly, they're really being overdone these days and it's amazing the Classics Starscream mould hasn't totally fallen apart!).

Maz
2013-08-27, 09:46 PM
“You’re stubborn as f**k and when people recommend things you deliberately avoid them”. Wise words from an old mushroom to his friend. You can’t really blame me, though, there’s just far too much to follow and give time to in the world of Transformers. Between the animated shows, the comics, vintage toys, modern toys, high-end collectibles, forums and intra-community ‘responsibilities’ – not to mention real life – picking up something new normally requires the dropping of something else. So what’s worth your time?

Just Say Yes | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/just-say-yes/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xjus21.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/xjus12.jpg

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-08-27, 10:39 PM
It seems likely Takara will do a smaller Megatron first, but an official MP Shockwave can't be that far behind when they next revisit the bad guys.

edit: In terms of picks, I've been impressed how much something like the Blood upgrade kit makes DOTM Bludgeon worth having.

Knightdramon
2013-08-28, 10:33 AM
So in an unspecified time span, people gifted you MP Grimlock, MP Prime and a FT Quakewave?

What do I have to do to be friends with those people?

Thankfully, what you describe is an affliction I can safely say I don't have. In all my collecting days, bar the very beginning, I had a knack of always getting what I really enjoyed and staying clear of other things, with few exceptions.

The only things I had to "drop" were mainline figures, just limiting the collection to high end collectibles.

Maz
2013-09-03, 09:41 PM
It’s now 2 years since the TFSource blog project was launched featuring weekly articles about – primarily – G1 Transformers collecting, collections and toy matters. Since then, Source Blog has taken on more regular excellent writers and has continued to bring insightful and engaging collector interviews to the community, as well as ongoing discoveries about ancient G1 and pre-G1 mysteries together with a greater focus on more recent Transformers releases and products. We take this opportunity to give you the best of the Source Articles presented in 2012/2013.

Best of 2012/2013 - Another Year of Source Articles (http://tfsource.com/blog/best-of-2012-2013/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xbest01.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xbest11.jpg

All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2013-09-03, 09:52 PM
I like the Collector Fail article...gives me hope that I'm not the only one whom ends up trashing things just by looking at them. Although with nothing as valuable as those toys, mercifully!

Maz
2013-09-10, 10:23 PM
It’s a depressing subject, giving up toy collecting, but it’s one that many have considered from time to time and even acted upon. One might be driven to the brink of surrender by finances, space, obsession, disinterest, priorities or a feeling of being overwhelmed. It can lead to feelings of liberation, or pangs of regret. As intensely personal as the collection itself, the reason to quit collecting depends on the person, the way in which that collection was built and maintained, and their circumstances or stage in life.

Giving Up | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/giving-up/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xgiv01.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xgiv18.jpg

All the best
Maz

Addl
2013-09-11, 04:16 AM
As it might be true that every collector faced or faces this topic, I can only see 2 reasons of the 6 you write:

Lack of money = lack of space... if you have the momey, you can buy more shelves or rent/buy a bigger house.

Lack of intetest = priorities = overwhelmed. If you are not intetested enough, then you have more prioty on other topics and also not not want to invest the time and energy to cope with the challenging topic.

What kind of reason is obsession?

Denyer
2013-09-11, 06:06 PM
Tried completism with the MOTU 200x line, and cleared most of them out for various reasons -- the fiction/characterisation doesn't have a great deal of depth, many characters weren't produced, weren't great sculpts, or were very limited release, etc.

Picked up one of the Classics series on a whim, and have picked up quite a few since, but just characters with particular nostalgia appeal or neat sculpts -- I especially like the novelty of releases for characters I didn't collect as a kid, whether because they weren't produced, didn't exist in the original fiction or were pitched more to a female audience (not massively interested in brushable hair, but POP was a far better cartoon series than MOTU most of the time.)

Loving the snake-men, for instance.

Thunderwave
2013-09-11, 10:41 PM
I've thought about giving up at various points. Usually when money is tight or I'm in a depressive bend. Last time I voiced that idea my wife told me "Don't you $%^@ing dare. It's part of who you are. Don't give that up."

And she's right. It is part of who I am. It's my mostly secret, incredibly dorky hobby. It's also like a garden for me. Some people weed a garden when they get stressed, I transform figures.

Tetsuro
2013-09-15, 11:48 AM
Well, Transformers ARE a completionist's nightmare. Even if you only concentrate on only one series and disregard variants and repaints, it still feels like there's too much to collect...from my standpoint anyway. I guess that's why I've culled my TF collecting and I'm now focusing largerly on just reissues of G1 toys. In fact, I've bought only two Transformers in the past year, both of which are reissues.

But I've never really thought about giving up collecting entirely. It just doesn't feel like a decision I have to face. If I do choose to give up on something, I'll just replace it with another. I haven't had any difficulties in spending my disposable income even though my interests may change. If I ever feel like I could use some extra money, I simply sell some of the things in my possession I find I just do not care much for anymore. Obviously, many of those things are not particularily expensive and thus do not provide me with much, which actually sometimes feel like selling them isn't worth the effort, but it's a start.

It also helps that even though I've been collecting since 2006, my collection is nowhere near something like the one in the blog photos. I guess my own collecting, despite what it may feel like, is still relatively "small time" if you will.

Still, what really made me focus exclusively on reissues was the realization that the newer lines just did not capture the sensation of my early childhood when G1 was still a thing, not to mention I've realized that most of the Armada and Cybertron toys I bought when those shows were a thing just do not evoke any feelings of particular attachment. Most of the G1s at least were actually sold in Finland when I was a child, but they have virtually disappeared from the real world scenery of flea markets and thrift stores, no doubt having found homes on the shelf of some collector somewhere. I guess I actually feel kind of aggravated by the thought that they wound up on the shelves of foreign buyers, thus reducing the little that was already available domestically even further, especially considering we even got Diaclones back in the day and I even remember seeing a Diaclone Browning in a flea market as a kid (but I didn't recognize it then, initially thinking it was Megatron but was missing his arm cannon and didn't know how to transform, so I passed it - along with a Batman/Batman Returns Batmobile missing a roof, which I've only recently discovered never had one either).

Ever since I began recapturing whatever of my childhood I could by watching as many of those old cartoons I remember watching as a kid, starting way back in December 2011, I've had my spare time so effectively used up that my DVD/blu-ray collecting has shrunken as well, leaving me collecting only a handful of toylines, many of which are quite a bit more expensive than an average Transformer, but do enjoy the benefit of not having all that many toys...but I've never given up on collecting. Like someone says in the article, it's like smoking, you try giving up but you keep going back, and I do recall someone pointing out that they tried to give up, but soon wanted to get back to it and only to discover a huge backlog of things they now wanted, and I don't want to go through that - I know I'm already feel exasperated by the fact that I got into collecting Soul of Chogokins and other modern gokins at such a late time where many of them are way above their SRPs in the aftermarket, despite being only a few years old!

Knightdramon
2013-09-15, 12:54 PM
It does depend. I think every collector goes through a "clearing" phase where they sell off most of their things and pick up from where they are when it's over.

It also depends on the intensity of your purchases. If you're getting one or two items per year then I don't think you can bold out the "giving up" part.

Myself, after the last few MP releases and how the mainlines end up being, yeah, my purchases per year have whittled down to 1/4th of what I used to get.

MP, the occasional alternity and a macross figure here and there are what's it for me now, and I'm not ready to give up on them at all.

Cliffjumper
2013-09-15, 09:17 PM
I'm certainly well past "collecting" Transformers; too many of them are shit. Even recent-ish binges of movie figs have been relatively selective (e.g. not buying crap like Skyhammer). It's actually a lot more fun to buy figures that look good rather than anything which happens to have the logo slapped on it.

Can't see myself buying much more than KO MP figures in the foreseeable, though.

Auntie Slag
2013-09-15, 09:48 PM
Hey Maz, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your 'Survivors' article. I could certainly relate to a lot of it, and love all the photo's (keeping the robot points in a puncture repair kit container is just the sort of thing I did).

I also had Thrust, but he's the one Transformer who has been misplaced in the attic somewhere, never to come down. All I have are his spare set of missiles and fists in a Heinz Sandwich spread jar along with stacks of other TF weapons.

As much as I relish the time of being a kid and loving Transformers, I find there's just as much to love about um... now. As in being a big kid and MTMTE and girls and stuff.

Denyer
2013-09-15, 10:15 PM
Yeah, like Auntie, with few exceptions for the sake of nostalgia (although I'll put out a 198x shelf when space permits) it's mainly modern releases that're holding my interest.

How are we defining collecting? I occasionally pick up figures I'm on the fence about as they'll be harder to get later, or without intending to display right now, but clear things out periodically. No interest in leaving things in packaging, very little interest in sets of things, etc.

Anyone doing it like this guy is doing it wrong:

http://io9.com/amassing-physical-objects-seems-to-be-part-of-western-c-87669889

Warcry
2013-09-15, 11:02 PM
I'm certainly well past "collecting" Transformers; too many of them are shit. Even recent-ish binges of movie figs have been relatively selective (e.g. not buying crap like Skyhammer). It's actually a lot more fun to buy figures that look good rather than anything which happens to have the logo slapped on it.
See, I really wish more people had this kind of attitude towards collecting. If you don't think you're going to like it, don't buy it! I don't know why this is so hard for so many people. I mean, I know I don't like movie toys. So unless a design absolutely blows my mind, I avoid them. But it seems so common in the fandom for people to buy things that they know they're not going to like just to bitch with them.

Though even then, I'm finding myself disappointed more often than not when I buy new Transformers. In the last two years I've bought...four new Transformers that I'd say are actually, unreservedly good (as opposed to just alright, or above-average but flawed...basically, toys I'd give an 8 or above if I reviewed them): FE Bulkhead, FE Starscream, triplechanger Generations Springer and the new bomber Megatron. This coming out of probably thirty figures, I think I need to tighten up my criteria even more...

On the other hand I'm having a ball collecting vintage Beast-era toys. Not only are they often cheaper than the stuff currently at retail, the quality, in terms of design, materials and paint apps, is miles better than the modern stuff. Plus (and this is the real sad part) it's often easier for me to locally find toys released in 1998 than it is to find the stuff that's allegedly on sale right now! So I don't think I'll be getting out of "collecting" any time soon.

Can't see myself buying much more than KO MP figures in the foreseeable, though.
Really don't get the love for the MP designs, though. Give me a good Deluxe over an oversized, overpriced, overly-slavish reproduction of a bland Sunbow character model any day of the week!

Have you seen the atrocities that they did to poor Smokescreen? I mean...those cartoon missile launchers... Ew.

Skyquake87
2013-09-16, 06:35 AM
I sold off a big chunk of my collection a few years ago. The turning point was Cybertron, I think. Oh and the CHUG stuff, to some extent. The collection was just, I felt, getting too big and silly and was full of stuff I was pretty indifferent to. I'd previously liked picking up the odd bunch of figures from each line to see what they were all about, but whilst I enjoyed the goofy blockiness of Armada, Cybertron was just terrible.

These days, I am more selective and I tend to go for the stuff where I feel HasTak have given a shit about what they are doing. I love Beast Wars, Animated and at least the first two series of Prime toys as with the design and packaging and so on, you really feel that someone cares about developing the concept from top to toe and having a cohesive look and feel to the Universe. Beast Hunters, by comparrison, looks like what it is - forced and unimaginative with a reliance on Predaking, whom seems to be Hasbro's Mary Sue, there's that much of the guy everywhere you turn.

Everything else seems incredibly variable. CHUG is something whose insane popularity amongst fandom is lost on me. Whilst I can see that the likes of Cyclonus, Hot Rod and Springer are all massively improved over their original toys, guys like Jetfire, Optimus and Octane seem somehow lacking against their original versions. The line circa 2008 just seemed to be taking the piss, cramming in Cybertron recolours and passing them off as G1 guys. The line seems just as patchy now, especially in the light of the FoC toys. Aside: I did buy FoC (despite having passed on the earlier crappy WFC designs) G2 Bruticus and didn't expect to bitch about it as I genuinely wanted them to be great and was disappointed when they er, weren't. Lesson learnt, I haven't bought any FoC toys since.

For me, everything from G1 - RiD is pretty much golden (well, save for the late'80s stuff). Since then its been a lot more of a bumpy ride.

I'm much happier picking up any mainline toys that pique my interest on clearance. My small DOTM collection and Prime toys have all come from end of the pier retailer Home Bargains or on discount at supermarkets. DOTM had a few good toys, but nothing I would want to pay full whack for. So I didn't. Crankcase being the exception. The movie toys are a funny bunch, in the main, I've really liked the ancilliary non-screen toys over the actual big name guys. I love DOTM Air Raid and ROTF Breakdown, but could care less about Starscream, Ironhide and Jazz.

I like having periodical clean outs too. Although my girlfriend pulls a big frowny face, I do like getting my 'bots out and having a bit of a play and deciding whom stays and whom goes.

I haven't been blown away by Masterpiece toys either. I have three, Grimlock, Skywarp and Soundwave which seem to me to be the best of the bunch. I'm yet to be convinced by the Autobot cars which I personally feel are poorer than the similarly themed Binaltech toys, although I do understand that having the toys stack up against an animation model is a big deal for a lot of people. Do like the look of G2 Sideswipe though...but...plastic! That doesn't scream Masterpiece to me.

Knightdramon
2013-09-16, 08:58 AM
I think the main appeal of the MP cars [and the rest of them, but mostly the cars] is how they combine vintage retro looks with modern engineering.

Besides a few figures, like Whirl and Springer/Sandstorm, I can't see myself going back to classics/generations figures when there's an MP figure of said character, or a strong possibility of said character emerging in an MP form.

Die-cast on MP figures is overated :p
The only figure with ample amounts of die-cast is MP01, which was designed that way because it was supposed to be a one-off. Once the decision was made to expand the line, takara probably realized that they can't afford to do that with every figure. That's why Megatron, Starscream, Grimlock and Rodimus have like 5-10% die-cast content compared to MP01 which is like 40% die-cast.

Skyquake87
2013-09-16, 06:26 PM
See,i like the die cast,glossy paint and rubber tyres on both my g1 and binaltech toys. The materials also made sense on the latter,what with them being a high end collector thing and all. Admittedly it does make them rubbish toys,but how many collectors actually play with their toys?

numbat
2013-09-16, 08:20 PM
I've thought about giving up at various points. Usually when money is tight or I'm in a depressive bend. Last time I voiced that idea my wife told me "Don't you $%^@ing dare. It's part of who you are. Don't give that up."

And she's right. It is part of who I am. It's my mostly secret, incredibly dorky hobby. It's also like a garden for me. Some people weed a garden when they get stressed, I transform figures.
I wish my wife had the same view!

She's always pushing me to give up and sell all the Transformers I have. I guess in some ways she's the most likely reason I'd give up and the most likely reason I'd keep on collecting...

I love my Transformers, and like you fiddle with them when I'm stressed. They're a great release/escape. My wife absolutely hates them, and her hatred seems to grow all the time despite me collecting less and keeping them out of sight, only playing with them when she's out with friends (which is rare indeed...).

I think it's very unlikely I'll ever give up collecting, but I am more selective than I used to be. That said, I've never been a completest (although Prime nearly made me simply because so many of the figures hit the perfect balance for me!). I am leaning more towards a few mainstream releases, alongside a few masterpiece figures, alongside a few limited release Botcon/TFCC exclusives, alongside a few third party offerings nowadays. It's more about what looks fun and what will fit in my collection. If it doesn't fit, I'm unlikely to get it, as I only get a couple of small shelves to display on in my house (and I struggle to keep the rights to those!), so I need things to fit in the same style really.

Thunderwave
2013-09-16, 11:52 PM
I wish my wife had the same view!

She's always pushing me to give up and sell all the Transformers I have. I guess in some ways she's the most likely reason I'd give up and the most likely reason I'd keep on collecting...

As a married collector it always kind of saddens me to hear stories like your own which, sadly, are a lot less rare then you'd think. I wish you the best of luck in your struggles.

As for my own collection I'm a lot like Numbat these days. I only pick up figures that strike my fancy in some way. I'm not too particular on scale between characters. I'll pick up figures that I have a great love for the character, or if the mold looks interesting in some way. I try to limit the number of times any given mold appears in my collection but exceptions happen for various reasons(the current winner is the CHUG Wheeljack mold at 4 followed by the Prime Wheeljack and the Seekers at 3).

When it comes to 3rd party figures I love the few that I have, but for the most part they are...meh to my sensibilities. I really don't want/need an updated Devistator, Predaking, Superion, or Menasor. I might end up getting Quakewave and that Impactor I saw a few months back. However for the most part few 3rd party figures scream "BUY ME!" to me (if they did a proper 3rd party Defensor now we're talking).

Tetsuro
2013-09-17, 03:38 AM
For me, everything from G1 - RiD is pretty much golden (well, save for the late'80s stuff). Since then its been a lot more of a bumpy ride.
Late 80's gets a pass from me for representing the period of Transformers where I was actually getting into it; my earliest memories involving Transformers involve Micromasters and the European G1 toys released in the early 90's.

Another reason I decided to stick to G1 reissues was this feeling of being burned by the Masterpiece line too many times. First I skipped out on Starscream due to the weird colour scheme, leading to me missing out on the mold entirely despite it's repeated reissues; Rodimus is just too fragile to be any fun; I likewise missed out on MP-10 and suddenly Takara cranks out like ten more MPs in just one year and I never have any money left for any of them, and suddenly MP-10 is sold out everywhere and costs like $300? And suppose it's suddenly reissued, what guarantee do I have that I can get similarily new chances at acquiring the other ones from MP-11 onwards? The hell with that.

Clay
2013-09-17, 03:40 AM
I've trimmed a few things here and there, but I still have most of what I've accumulated as an adult collector. I have a few character favorites and preferred "styles" that I gravitate toward, but for the most part I just like seeing new molds and how they do things. I suppose I look at the toys as a media unto themselves. As such, I don't mind if toy X is poor because I'm fascinated by why that is as much as I appreciate ones that are great. That doesn't necessarily mean that I buy molds that are obviously poor, but I don't waste must effort disparaging them if I do pick them up and don't like them.

numbat
2013-09-17, 07:38 AM
When it comes to 3rd party figures I love the few that I have, but for the most part they are...meh to my sensibilities. I really don't want/need an updated Devistator, Predaking, Superion, or Menasor. I might end up getting Quakewave and that Impactor I saw a few months back. However for the most part few 3rd party figures scream "BUY ME!" to me (if they did a proper 3rd party Defensor now we're talking).
Totally likewise.

I have only a few third party figures, and while some others look interesting it's rare that one hits the mark so well I'd consider buying it (let alone actually buy it!). To date I've only bought the Classics Ultra Magnus armour, WST Dinobots, WST Blaster, WST Shockwave (and I'll never buy another Justitoys WST after that debacle!) and 'Legends Class' G1 Bumblebee.

Fansproject Menasor has seriously grabbed my attention lately, as has Terminus Hexatron, as these are characters and designs that I loved as a kid, and the updates capture that magic. But they're expensive... Company did well last financial year, so tempted to order but then my wife would surely kill me, especially as we're expecting our first kid and she wants to move house (if only she could pick one town/area to want to move to and stick with it!). On the other hand, I couldn't care less abot Defensor or Impactor, and I've not seen a Devastator that would convince me to part with that much money.

Maz
2013-09-17, 09:42 PM
Some things appreciate, some things depreciate. It’s probably best to base your collecting and buying on what makes you happy instead of aiming to maximise long-term investment potential for vintage Transformers, pre-Transformers or newer products. Unless you are a toy dealer with acres of storage space, all the time in the world and infinite patience to hold onto things until they finally rise in value, or you are a collector who never needs to sell, you will have shifted a few bits and pieces from your collection now and then.

This week I’ll be looking back on a number of odds and sods I’ve sold in the last year or so, trying to make some sort of sense of their final auction values or direct selling prices in the grand scheme of things. In a climate where the brand new or the ancient seem to be of the greatest value, creating the most hype and competition, it was fascinating to see how the hot toys of yesteryear fared against their more illustrious and desirable ancestors or descendants

Sold | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/sold/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xmar18.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xmar19.jpg

All the best
Maz

Paul053
2013-09-18, 04:44 PM
To me, not thinking about giving up but controlling them. My wife is "okay" accepting me having this hobby but she doesn't like to see "too many". Which is good so I have to create my collecting rules and strictly follow them to control the amount I have. Occasionally will sell some that I don't care much now (so new ones can come in :)). What I sometimes don't understand is when we went to Target or Walmart and stoped at the toy isles. I took some figures down and looked at them and then put them back. She teased me a lot saying "Don't you want this? Don't you want that? They look cool." And I have to tell her "No, they don't fit in my rules." Then she gave me a puzzled look, what rules? Sigh~ Woman.

Maz
2013-09-27, 12:02 AM
After two weeks of depressing articles about giving up Transformers toy collecting or selling beloved figures for various purposes, how about an abrupt change of direction? This week we have a feel-good piece about the pleasures and continuing joy of being part of the Transformers community, why the cultivating of a collection personal and unique to us can bring such happiness and actually have a future in our lives.

Not Giving Up | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/not-giving-up/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xnot14.jpg

All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-10-01, 10:05 PM
One feel-good article does not a balance make, therefore we are taking one more week of contributions from even more esteemed collecting colleagues about the continuing pleasure and ever-lasting appeal of Transformers toy collecting. If we can fill two weeks’ worth of column inches about why giving up toy collecting should be taken seriously and how much you can expect to benefit financially, or spiritually, then surely we can put forth an equal amount of positivity to explain our ongoing love affair with the amassing of plastic crack?

Still Not Giving Up | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/still-not-giving-up/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/xstill12.jpg

All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-10-05, 05:40 PM
There are collectors who are known purely for the size and quality (or focus) of their collections, while others are known for being prominent personalities within the community. Then we have collectors who are renowned for being keen customisers while others gain recognition for the services they have done the community through the years. So to actually be interviewing someone this month whose qualities encompass all of the above, and happens to be a tremendously well-liked and good person too, is quite an honour.

Collector Interview 17 – Allen Greenwood | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/collector-interview-17-allen-greenwood/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/1714.jpg

Many kind and gracious thanks to Allen Greenwood for words and photos.

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-10-05, 06:04 PM
Disagree; focus -- i.e. criteria other than "that's neat!" -- would make it into a chore.

Warcry
2013-10-07, 04:29 AM
Personally I'd agree with Denyer, but I can see the other side of the argument too. From the interview it sounds like this guy is the sort of collector who approaches the hobby from a "what does my collection need to be complete?" perspective, and people like that definitely need focus because it would be way too easy to drift into "buy everything with a Transformers logo on it" territory.

I think it really comes down to whether you look at your collection as a single thing that needs to fit together into a greater whole, or a collection of neat things that you bought because you like and don't care if they fit together or not. I'm certainly in the latter group, but I know there's a lot of people out there who get way more enjoyment from the former.

Clay
2013-10-07, 06:44 AM
I think I can clarify the train of thought a bit... let's take Ultra Magnus as an example. Say you have the Classics Ultra Magnus with the City Commander armor. It's pretty neat. Say you also have the Animated Ultra Magnus. It's pretty neat too. Then skip to 2013 and find three different molds for Ultra Magnus: TF:Prime, Beast Hunters, and FOC. And some point, even if you find them all neat, you accumulate too many Ultra Magnus figures. It's no longer enough to just be a neat and interesting figure, it has to be different from what you've already got by benefit of being around for several years since the last iteration.

The angle is that, after collecting for a decade or more, Hasbro's strategy of resetting the brand every few years leaves you with multiples of the same character. So instead of just going after everything that's neat that you like, you start to limit yourself down to a subset to collect just for the sake of space and sanity.

And again, part of it is simply a reaction to the amount of product being produced now versus when Armada was out. It's just not feasible to chase everything that looks neat anymore.

Cliffjumper
2013-10-07, 09:47 AM
Yup, I've certainly moved away from figures just being good, even if I am a pretty disorganised collector. By law of averages the likes of Optimus Prime (G1 for the metaphorical weight of the thing, Laser Rod, RiD, ROTF Leader, Robot Masters, MP), Bumblebee (AM, Classics, Concept, HA, FE), Hound (G1, Classics, BT) and Sideswipe (G1, MP, G2, ROTF, Sidearms) have wracked up a lot of neat-looking figures; Hell, there might even be a decent Megatron figure out sooner or later.

If you're tight on space and/or funds you don't want too many guys that are similar or based on the same character - I'd recommend both the first Voyager and the Leader versions of Movie Ironhide but I can only justify hanging onto one. TBH if they do all the Autobot cars in the same way they've done Sideswipe and they're halfway affordable most of my G1s will be getting their marching orders...

Warcry
2013-10-07, 01:57 PM
I don't disagree with you two at all, but I think it's this section that Denyer was responding to (and it's certainly what I had in mind when I replied):

Strangely enough, I’ve met several collectors who have little to no focus at all with their collections. The collections are a bunch of random things. Figure out where you want to go with your collection. Set a goal and then develop objectives on how to get there. Become a focused collector. Take your time. Prioritize what you’re after, as you may come across some items only a few times whereas other specimens you can find any day of the week. Be patient and be particular about the condition of the items you bring into your fold.
I think there's a big difference between this sort of goal-oriented collecting (which could translate into something like "I want to buy modern versions of all the 1984-86 characters, and I'll ignore the rest" or "I'm buying all the on-screen Prime characters this year and nothing else", with the exact focus depending on taste) and what you're suggesting, which to me is just common sense no matter what your style of collecting.

For me, I agree that already owning multiple versions of a character makes me way less likely to buy them again. But it's got nothing to do with 'focus' in my case. It's just that since I already own multiple Optimus Primes or Starscreams that I like the standards that a new toy would have to meet to catch my eye are really, really high. For example, why would I buy any of the Masterpiece seekers when I have several Classics seekers that do exactly the same thing on a smaller scale? I don't like them any more than what I already own, so it would be a waste of money.

My collection is "a bunch of random things" and I wouldn't have it any other way. The meticulous "decide exactly what you want, hunt it down and never deviate" approach that the interviewee espouses sounds like work to me, not fun. But like I said in my first post, different people enjoy collecting for different reasons so who am I to judge? :)

TBH if they do all the Autobot cars in the same way they've done Sideswipe and they're halfway affordable most of my G1s will be getting their marching orders...
Except you and I both know that Takara will make five car molds, tops, then whore them out for the next ten years by selling them in different colours with pedo-bait anime girls. :(

Cliffjumper
2013-10-07, 05:24 PM
I think there's a big difference between this sort of goal-oriented collecting (which could translate into something like "I want to buy modern versions of all the 1984-86 characters, and I'll ignore the rest" or "I'm buying all the on-screen Prime characters this year and nothing else", with the exact focus depending on taste) and what you're suggesting, which to me is just common sense no matter what your style of collecting.


Ahhhh! Yes, agreement. While I can see why some people either prefer or can see no other way of doing it, yeppers, no goal-orientated collecting here (beyond "cool toys of guys I like") as far as TFs are concerned.

Actually, I've never really done it with anything... I think I have all the small Gobot moulds (did I sell some of the Japanese exclusives? Can't remember) but that was more because I like about 90% and the review thing was snowballing... But even when I had money to burn I bought other stuff than the likes of Scales or the Boomers despite being sooo close to having the whole line just because they look so bloody awful.

With TFs when I first got into adult collecting I was a bit "gotta catch 'em all", but then it was RiD that was out and there were probably something like a few hundred Western figures since 1984 (plus with the cost of good G1s pre-reissue you were quite happy to settle for number-boosters like the Firecons and Triggerbots). Even with the stingiest application of what counts as a new figure there must be thousands out there now; anyone who has everything must spend so much time hunting down figures that they'd have no time to do anything with them.

Plus RiD was actually a pretty good bang-for-buck range of figures. The slight price increase for Armada coupled with something of a regression in design (though I can appreciate why some don't like the RiD designs) meant Armada was a lot less satisfying to collect. One of the big problems with goal-collecting Transformers is that it's difficult to think of many subsets that aren't cursed by at least one god-awful and/or preposterously expensive toy (I'd never, for example, consider paying the going rate for a genuine G1 Sunstreaker).

Except you and I both know that Takara will make five car molds, tops, then whore them out for the next ten years by selling them in different colours with pedo-bait anime girls. :(That's the worst bit, isn't it? It's all so do-able. They need to do Sunstreaker, Mirage, Wheeljack, Ironhide/Ratchet, Trailbreaker/Hoist, Tracks, Hound, Inferno/Grapple and Skids and we're there, but you know they're going to wander off and do Powerglide or Octane or some bright green version of Sideswipe based off a toy catalogue printing error but that Japanese nerd says he fills eight plot-holes in TF:TM or something. It'll be like Binaltech, where I do think Takara set out with the best of intentions only for reality to intervene...

Knightdramon
2013-10-07, 09:39 PM
That's the worst bit, isn't it? It's all so do-able. They need to do Sunstreaker, Mirage, Wheeljack, Ironhide/Ratchet, Trailbreaker/Hoist, Tracks, Hound, Inferno/Grapple and Skids and we're there, but you know they're going to wander off and do Powerglide or Octane or some bright green version of Sideswipe based off a toy catalogue printing error but that Japanese nerd says he fills eight plot-holes in TF:TM or something. It'll be like Binaltech, where I do think Takara set out with the best of intentions only for reality to intervene...

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

I think Takara will invest on MP a lot more this time than they did with Binaltechs. With Binaltechs, at the time, they shot themselves in the foot because transformers wasn't big enough back then and lots of car manufacturers didn't want their vehicles associated.

I believe that we can easily put a tick on whichever car shares a brand with something that's released now or in the past [so Tracks, Skids and Trailbreaker are a matter of when rather than if]. Luckily for takara, with few exceptions, most of the cars are repaints or retools of each other, so there's some "easy" cash whichever way it goes.

As for what's going on now, even though there's a plethora of product in various sizes/classes and even markets available, the average fan still can't get a good set without going "out of his way" at least once.

And I'm putting that in brackets because I don't really believe it to be true. In a world of online trade and commerce, do I really need a product to be right next door or within driving distance from my residence?

Cliffjumper
2013-10-07, 10:09 PM
And I'm putting that in brackets because I don't really believe it to be true. In a world of online trade and commerce, do I really need a product to be right next door or within driving distance from my residence?

I think it's more that I can see Takara doing something stupid like making Grapple an exclusive for someone or something along those lines; there's going to be some scenario whereby they really dick everyone over, they wouldn't be Takara otherwise.

The situation with weaponry (like Sideswipe's chrome piledrivers or the Datsun launchers) is already quite annoying for such a high-end line, never caught Bandai doing that with SOC - MP really should work the accessories a bit more IMHO. If Sideswipe was SOC he'd have the rifle in two different colours, the jetpack, cartoon and toy styled launchers, etc.

Warcry
2013-10-08, 01:03 AM
Actually, I've never really done it with anything... I think I have all the small Gobot moulds (did I sell some of the Japanese exclusives? Can't remember) but that was more because I like about 90% and the review thing was snowballing... But even when I had money to burn I bought other stuff than the likes of Scales or the Boomers despite being sooo close to having the whole line just because they look so bloody awful.
I suppose I've been goal-oriented in other toylines that I buy, but generally we'd be talking about things that I don't like as much as Transformers. For example, I bought all four of the "Classics" Ninja Turtles that came out last year but I've got absolutely no interest in Bebop and Rocksteady or any of the other characters whose names have been tossed about as possible future releases other than maybe Shredder -- I wanted all four Turtles, I got them and as far as I'm concerned that little section of shelf is a complete collection in and of itself. No other toys need apply.

But for Transformers? I couldn't do it. I like so many different characters and facets of the brand that it'd be impossible to restrict myself to just a few.

I think Takara will invest on MP a lot more this time than they did with Binaltechs. With Binaltechs, at the time, they shot themselves in the foot because transformers wasn't big enough back then and lots of car manufacturers didn't want their vehicles associated.
People always say that about Takara. They always leave disappointed.

2002: "These bookbox reissues are awesome! Soon we'll be able to collect brand-new versions of all the classic toys!"

2003: "Binaltech! Finally we'll get modern versions of all our favourites! And they're die-cast, too!"

2006: "Masterpiece Starscream and Megatron! Surely now we'll get a lineup of cartoon-accurate toys!"

2007: "Encore! Hooray for a new reissue line. We'll definitely get Wheeljack and Sunstreaker and the Dinobots this time once the obligatory Prime and Megatron are done, right?"

2009: "Alternity? Looks like this will definitely pick up where Binaltech left off!"

2012: "Masterpiece cars? Who cares if the die-cast is gone and that they're hugely overpriced Alternators? This will totally, definitely, for sure be the way we'll finally get an updated 1984 line!"

Except that never happens and Takara always wanders off to make random stuff like Sky Lynx or anime girls or a random sportscar that's totally Star Saber or Fortress Maximus, we promise. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice if they actually put out a complete lineup of the Autobot car cast, but their track record really doesn't suggest you should hold your breath.

And I'm putting that in brackets because I don't really believe it to be true. In a world of online trade and commerce, do I really need a product to be right next door or within driving distance from my residence?
Considering the atrocious track record that Takara in general and the Masterpiece line in particular have? Yes. Absolutely yes.

The situation with weaponry (like Sideswipe's chrome piledrivers or the Datsun launchers) is already quite annoying for such a high-end line, never caught Bandai doing that with SOC - MP really should work the accessories a bit more IMHO. If Sideswipe was SOC he'd have the rifle in two different colours, the jetpack, cartoon and toy styled launchers, etc.
Transformers in general haven't done a good job with accessories for, what, five years now? Maybe ten? It's a shame because the wonderful assortment of accessories that the original Diaclone-era toys came with was one of the nicest things about them.

Knightdramon
2013-10-08, 10:52 AM
2003: "Binaltech! Finally we'll get modern versions of all our favourites! And they're die-cast, too!"

2006: "Masterpiece Starscream and Megatron! Surely now we'll get a lineup of cartoon-accurate toys!"

2009: "Alternity? Looks like this will definitely pick up where Binaltech left off!"

2012: "Masterpiece cars? Who cares if the die-cast is gone and that they're hugely overpriced Alternators? This will totally, definitely, for sure be the way we'll finally get an updated 1984 line!"

Except that never happens and Takara always wanders off to make random stuff like Sky Lynx or anime girls or a random sportscar that's totally Star Saber or Fortress Maximus, we promise. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice if they actually put out a complete lineup of the Autobot car cast, but their track record really doesn't suggest you should hold your breath.


Considering the atrocious track record that Takara in general and the Masterpiece line in particular have? Yes. Absolutely yes.



Onto the accessories thing for the MP cars, Shogo Hasui [designer] said that he stretched the budget so thin for them in that pricepoint, he was almost unable to include any accessories. The add-on accessories, like Swipe's spoons, Soundwave's extra cubes and Prowl's *ONE* launcher [yeah, that's crap] are actually available for free with amazon releases. I blame the import stores charging extra for something that doesn't cost extra.

Onto Binaltech, I believe somewhere around BT Grimlock, or even Overdrive, it became apparent that Takara, with help from Hasbro, had backed into a corner they couldn't get out of. Putting such a large scale on the cars severely limited their options of releases [seen an 1/24 truck or airplane?] and they soon run out of iconic bots or concepts.

With MP Starscream and Megatron nobody thought we were getting cartoon accurate figures [which we are, right now, 6 years later]. Before MP10 [or arguably, MP09] MP figures were meant as high end modern updates, not retro looking like they are now.

Alternity is another of those japanese exclusive things that aimed high at launch and never got there. The fact that we got Bumblebee, Cliffjumper and the Seekers out of it is definitely more than I expected. Would I want more? Definitely. Did I immensely enjoy the four moulds? Yes.

I do think that the MP line *will* run out of steam the way it is now, as there are only that many fancy sport cars to support the more sluggish vehicles. I do not harbour any long lost hope of getting something like, MP Pipes or Gears or whatever, but I do believe I'll get an MP Tracks in the coming years.

As for Takara's track record with the MP line? I haven't counted a "dick" move ever since they reissued MP01 6 months before they released MP10. If anything, it went from giving us a green stylized Starscream, a Megatron with legs like toothpicks that can't hold his cannon, and 1st version Rodimus that made me want to throw mine at the wall to things like MP Sideswipe, Prowl, MP10, and a very, very neat Starscream and Soundwave.

Warcry
2013-10-08, 04:38 PM
Onto the accessories thing for the MP cars, Shogo Hasui [designer] said that he stretched the budget so thin for them in that pricepoint, he was almost unable to include any accessories. The add-on accessories, like Swipe's spoons, Soundwave's extra cubes and Prowl's *ONE* launcher [yeah, that's crap] are actually available for free with amazon releases. I blame the import stores charging extra for something that doesn't cost extra.
You're definitely right about the online resellers, but Takara also bears some blame for marketing the figure and costing it out as if it were a high-end, low-volume collectible. It made sense to treat the earlier, gigantic MPs with their extra-complex engineering and non-standard materials that way, but the recent car MPs really aren't all that different from an Alternator or modern Voyager as far as construction goes and the only reason not to sell/market it as a regular toy is because they know they can gouge the collector market by creating false scarcity and then 'reissuing' the same toy a year later for $20 more.

I'm probably coming off as disparaging toward the new Masterpieces, but I don't really mean to be. I think the smaller size and different materials are great, partly because the previous MPs were so large and expensive that Hasbro had a hard time finding a market for them in the West and partly because the MP cars seem to function equally well as display pieces and as toys (something very important to me that earlier MPs often missed the boat on). If they do decide to import the cars I think they'll have a much easier time getting stores to sign on, and wouldn't be at all surprised to see them retailing as $35-$40 mass-market items instead of being heavily-scalped TRU exclusives produced in low numbers. Heck, with the rate Takara is producing redecos Hasbro could release multiple MP cars at a time in a new subline if they wait another year or two before picking things up.

But between questionable pricing (starting with Takara and then exacerbated by online stores) and Takara's usual MO of spamming redecos of a mold until the market gives up on a line (already underway with the four or five Sideswipes they've produced...) I think the overall outlook for the line is about the same as it was for any of Takara's previous collectors line...which means it'll run strong for two or three years, then peter out into random redecos of existing molds before eventually dying a slow, whimpering death. :( Hopefully I'm wrong, though.

Onto Binaltech, I believe somewhere around BT Grimlock, or even Overdrive, it became apparent that Takara, with help from Hasbro, had backed into a corner they couldn't get out of. Putting such a large scale on the cars severely limited their options of releases [seen an 1/24 truck or airplane?] and they soon run out of iconic bots or concepts.
There are two things I disagree with here.

Firstly, absolutely nothing says that they needed to produce every Alternator or BT toy in 1:24 scale. Obviously they weren't going to make a 1:24 Starscream since he'd wind up being bigger than the new Metroplex, but there's nothing stopping them from making an Alternators Starscream in 1:80 or 1:100 scale so he'd be about the same size as the cars or a little bit bigger (is my math right here?).

Secondly, even if the line stuck to cars there were a lot of popular characters that could have gotten new interpretations. Hasbro and Takara were both guilty of milking the existing molds for crazy redecos, but at the end of the day we had a bunch of really fitting stuff (Smokescreen, Bluestreak, Skids, Hound, Swindle...), some things that were really odd (Grimlock, Ravage, Camshaft, Shockwave, Decepticharge, Arcee, Blaster) and a bunch of fitting characters who never got a sniff (Trailbreaker, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, a Windcharger in more than name, actual accurate Stunticons...)

With MP Starscream and Megatron nobody thought we were getting cartoon accurate figures [which we are, right now, 6 years later]. Before MP10 [or arguably, MP09] MP figures were meant as high end modern updates, not retro looking like they are now.
They were expensive toys designed to look like cartoon character models (or as close as Takara could manage) with 80s-accurate alt-modes and robot designs and accessories taken straight from the animation. And whenever anything deviated even slightly from what the Sunbow fans wanted, message boards would explode with threads decrying the inaccuracies. You might not have thought you were getting cartoon-accurate updates, but clearly a lot of folks did.

As for Takara's track record with the MP line? I haven't counted a "dick" move ever since they reissued MP01 6 months before they released MP10. If anything, it went from giving us a green stylized Starscream, a Megatron with legs like toothpicks that can't hold his cannon, and 1st version Rodimus that made me want to throw mine at the wall to things like MP Sideswipe, Prowl, MP10, and a very, very neat Starscream and Soundwave.
Black Rodimus explodes at the knees, and I'm starting to hear reports of V2 Rodimuses self-destructing as well. Soundwave's tapes, basically Minicon size, were sold in two-packs for almost the cost of one of the cars and reports are everywhere of Buzzsaws and Laserbeaks breaking at the tailfins or heads. Soundwave's tape-ejection feature apparently doesn't work well on a lot of people's figures and he has a constant issue with a finger or fingers falling off. Sideswipe admittedly sounds great and initial feedback on Prowl (shitty launchers aside) seems to be good, but going two new molds without any massive QC faults or design flaws isn't something any other company would be proud of.

I can't really give them credit for the second Starscream, since it only exists to fix the flaws in the first one's design (and sell to people who want to upgrade from their ugly Greenscream).

Maz
2013-10-08, 09:13 PM
Don’t judge. You can’t judge, not in this game, with its myriad population of collectors and enthusiasts. There will be personal admissions of guilt and opportunities for ridicule and vigorous head-shaking, but you can save your pity for those who don’t see what they are doing to themselves and aren’t having fun. Feel free to spend your 2 cents, pence or vehemence in condemning someone who is “not doing it right”, who is not as enlightened as you, but the enthusiasm, enjoyment and pleasure are real, as real as the mentality itself. This is my hobby, my problem, and it follows me everywhere.

The Mentality | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/the-mentality/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-10-08, 09:29 PM
The dividing line tends to be drawn as it not being OCD unless it's degrading quality of life, and only the person concerned is really in a position to make that call.

Knightdramon
2013-10-08, 10:40 PM
I want to add that at the time of Binaltech, Takara was really treading waters with the concept of high-end cars made into transformable, fully licensed accurate replicas. As I said before, the franchise didn't reach the heights of popularity it has now before the first movie. Some car companies were and might still be notorious about licensing their cars are war machines, but others are not. The MP03 Starscream, at the time, did match up to the scale, but was released as part of a different line.

With all the manufacturing nightmares it begun [ie some moulds are metal for japan, other moulds are plastic for US/Europe on the same figure] I'm surprised it held on that long.

The thing with USA Masterpiece figures is that their biggest marketing catch is the lower price than Japanese releases. Lower as in usually half the price, but released a year or so later. Seeing as Prowl and Swipe are around 42 USD if you preorder them and not wait until they are sold out, or buy from an importer yourself, I can't see how hasbro can make an even lower price for their domestic market while keeping the cars licensed as well. Unless they mould them in colour [little to no paint] and sell them in plastic cardbacks packaged in car mode for 20 USD, I can't see it working for them, especially seeing as how big they are even compared to a modern voyager.

Takara had a first design for Starscream [very, very similar to MP11] but ditched it for a Shoji Kawamori designed, realistic F15 model with various design liberties in the colours of green. Even though he had the null rays and turned into more or less the same jet, you can't tell me Greenscream was supposed to be cartoon Starscream? A modernized version of the concept, sure. Even Skywarp and Thundercracker followed suit and weren't cartoon accurate. Sure one was black and the other blue, but nowhere near what they were supposed to be. That's where I'm getting off saying they weren't really cartoon accurate.

On Takara's end, it's true that Black Rodimus is so laughably flawed it hurts. But I seriously don't consider Soundwave's fingers a design flaw or anything. And when they do pop off [they don't on mine, but maybe that's rare], it takes about 10 seconds to slice off any excess flash on the plastic, or take care not to bend the figure more than its clearance allows it.

As far as the price of them [like the cassettes], yeah, some of them are overpriced for their size, but that's a thing going across more or less every collector line, with regards to price in relation to size, in Japan at the moment. The only products that seem [for me, at least] overpriced to me are the cassette two packs, for their initial retail price. The cars, seekers, Soundwave and Prime are actually cheap to very cheap for their size mass, moving parts and all that, in relation to other transformable lines.

Warcry
2013-10-09, 12:39 AM
I really wish I could share your enthusiasm. :) I guess I've just gotten my hopes up only to have them dashed too many times now.

On the other hand, I felt that way about the comics until about a year ago and MTMTE managed to perk me back up, so if the Masterpiece line turns out like you hope it may just do the same.

Seeing as Prowl and Swipe are around 42 USD if you preorder them and not wait until they are sold out, or buy from an importer yourself, I can't see how hasbro can make an even lower price for their domestic market while keeping the cars licensed as well. Unless they mould them in colour [little to no paint] and sell them in plastic cardbacks packaged in car mode for 20 USD, I can't see it working for them, especially seeing as how big they are even compared to a modern voyager.
Here's the thing, though. That $42 Masterpiece Prowl is sitting in a warehouse in Japan and I'd still need to ship in across the Pacific. And when it gets here I need to pay customs charges. The real amount I'd be shelling out is around $70 or $80, or about the same that I'd pay if I'd bought it from a Western reseller. Whereas if Hasbro imports the mold and distributes it properly I can pay $35 or $40 for it while I'm out grocery shopping and that's that. Plus I can check the toy out for paint or QC flaws and return it if it's broken when I open the package. I know that the European branches of Hasbro don't import...well, pretty much anything, but those of us in the US and Canada being able to buy from Hasbro is, at least in theory, a lot cheaper and more convenient.

I say 'in theory' because that basically never happens with the larger MPs in Canada. I think I saw Skywarp once? Rodimus was the only one who was actually on the shelf for more than a few hours, and he only lasted as long as he did because people were scared off by the QC horror stories from the Takara version (and rightly so...those damnable shoulders!). I could probably find Acid Storm if I wanted to look, but that's only because it's the equivalent of making a $100 Masterpiece Wipeout.

As far as the price of them [like the cassettes], yeah, some of them are overpriced for their size, but that's a thing going across more or less every collector line, with regards to price in relation to size, in Japan at the moment.
That's my point, though. Unlike the bigger, more expensive and complex models, there's practically no reason for the MP cars to even be a collectors line. They're all-plastic licensed cars, like Alternators or Human Alliance, approximately the same size and comparable in terms of complexity. It follows that a Hasbro release of the MP cars should be able to fall around the same price point, possibly plus $5 or so to account for the additional paint and such. And unlike the $80+ MPs that have wound up as store exclusives, I'd expect to see $35-40 cars for sale at all major retailers since they're a much, much easier sell. Is that a pipe dream? Maybe, but it seems to me like the best way for Hasbro to get the product out there.

Cliffjumper
2013-10-09, 12:59 AM
Yep, that last point's a good one. MP Sideswipe is no more complex from any point of view than HA Jazz, and TBH I think a decent coloured plastic would be to the figure's advantage. There's no chrome, no diecast, no rubber tyres. The design budget was probably higher but the work's done now. There's really no reason a Hasbro version should be any more than an Alternator or HA.

Thing is, it probably won't be, it'll be a $60 TRU exclusive and an opportunity to shift lots of product will be missed while the things shelf-warm.

Re: Takara, the QC is exactly the reason why I'd never buy a high-ticket item off them. Too many ****-ups, no way of returning or exchanging, too much of a lottery.

Clay
2013-10-09, 03:29 AM
I can't really give them credit for the second Starscream, since it only exists to fix the flaws in the first one's design (and sell to people who want to upgrade from their ugly Greenscream).

Not to get on a tangent, but what's wrong with the first iteration of Masterpiece Starscream? I actually prefer the more realistic, muted green of the Takara version, but I've softened considerably on the traditional color scheme. And the fuselage pieces that hang off the hips, which are different from the original design, greatly add to the balance of the figure, a la

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f303/claywyatt1982/th_IMG_20131008_215002.jpg (http://s50.photobucket.com/user/claywyatt1982/media/IMG_20131008_215002.jpg.html)http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f303/claywyatt1982/th_IMG_20131008_215027.jpg (http://s50.photobucket.com/user/claywyatt1982/media/IMG_20131008_215027.jpg.html)http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f303/claywyatt1982/th_IMG_20131008_215334.jpg (http://s50.photobucket.com/user/claywyatt1982/media/IMG_20131008_215334.jpg.html)

...thus making them an improvement. They're stylish too.

I know the artwork and stock photography always depicts the hip pieces jutting straight back, but... that's silly. And anyone who complains about balance while trying to do that... I want to smack them with the toy and tell them to pick a different hobby.

Back on topic, the last group of Human Alliance cars with movie 3 retailed for $30 or $35 depending on location, so $40 for Masterpiece Prowl from Hasbro is within precedent.

Warcry
2013-10-09, 05:00 AM
Not to get on a tangent, but what's wrong with the first iteration of Masterpiece Starscream?
My dislike for the MP seekers is probably stronger than most, but I'd complain about...
I don't care what you do with them, the tailfin sections look stupid.
By moving all that mass off to separate pieces, his legs are left looking thin and frail.
Don't the hip pieces have a reputation for being very fragile?
His feet look awful.
The robot mode chest just doesn't look right. The cartoon design (which emphasized the red sections a lot more) has a lot more visual appeal than the toy's realistic proportions can provide.
Really, what it boils down to for me is that the Classics seeker, a far simpler toy that's 1/4 the size and 1/6 the price, is both way nicer to look at and more accurate to the familiar character model. MP Starscream's alt-mode is a lot better but I'm not sure what else I can say about it that's positive.

The MP-11 remold got rid of the unsightly hip-kibble and greatly improved the look of the legs in the process. The feet still suck, but IMO it's a way, way better effort all around and the best we could ever hope to get from a seeker toy that doesn't fudge the alt-mode to make the robot look better like Classics does. I would have happily bought Hasbro's Thundercracker if I ever saw it, and even though I laugh at them for doing pointless nobody Acid Storm I might consider buying him if he sticks around long enough to go on sale -- something I could never have said about the original MP seeker.

[EDIT]Though just to be clear, in spite of my coolness toward the MP line and dislike for buying big-ticket stuff online I'm also a massive hypocrite, since I just ordered MP Soundwave online from TRU.ca not ten minutes ago. I just hope both of my bird-bots have heads...

[ALSO EDIT]
Missed this...

Thing is, it probably won't be, it'll be a $60 TRU exclusive and an opportunity to shift lots of product will be missed while the things shelf-warm.
You're even more jaded than I am, but unfortunately that's a distinct possibility. And it'd be a shame. I could see myself buying a lot of these for $35 -- out of what Takara's produced so far I quite like Sideswipe, Tigertrack, Prowl and Bluestreak, with Smokescreen losing points for his goofy cartoon launchers but mainly because the Alternator is Smokescreen to me now. And I'd be likely to spring for Red Alert too, if Hasbro gave him his toy colours and proper non-cartoon head.

But at $60? I'm not to proud to admit that I probably couldn't resist Prowl even at that price, but the odds of buying anything else would be nil.

Maz
2013-10-15, 11:08 PM
In the world of Transformers collecting, instant gratification is big – just listen to the complaints when a package is late. So this pre-ordering game for Masterpiece Transformers or 3rd party products is a bit new to some of us, paying for something in March and receiving it in October, 7 months later. During that time, the company responsible for capturing our imaginations tweet shots of prototypes, distribute production sample photos and entice us with images of the items on display at various Asian toy shows or events. When the frenzy reaches climax and online retailers begin to ship out orders, do these toys meet our expectations? -

Meeting Expectations – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/meeting-expectations-part-1/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Weirdwolf and Monzo
2013-10-17, 04:26 AM
Hey, I KNOW that guy, met him a couple times. Quaddy's a super-cool collector.

Focusing my collection has been a concerted effort in recent years as well. I started out with the Pokemon "gotta catch 'em all" mentality to now picking and choosing what I collect. Mainly 3rd party figures, the occasional G1 that appeals to me, or a Masterpiece if I can afford it. Much easier on the wallet, and I don't feel like I am living in a toy store anymore. I don't know how many times friends would come over to my old apartment and tell me it looked like a Toys R Us showroom. :p

Maz
2013-10-22, 06:58 PM
We Transformers fans, we consume. We consume toys, information, comics, stories, movies, and we demand immediate and un-metered access to all of it. We are an entitled bunch who are becoming increasingly spoilt for choice when it comes to all of the above. So to ask us to wait the better part of a year after being teased relentlessly with preview images of upcoming Masterpiece or 3rd Party items, despite paying or budgeting for them mere days after the news hits…well there’s a lot to answer for if the toys don’t measure up.

Meeting Expectations – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/meeting-expectations-part-2/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-10-24, 08:16 PM
Mmm. It's not that I don't like Prowl, as the design is as much UK comic oriented (not Senior but others) as cartoon, but Bovis is an excellent take on a character that hasn't had much exposure, and much more than a combiner limb. Predaking doesn't particularly interest me.

Cheers for the pointers on QC, good to know what to be careful about. It's still got fewer issues than some of the official MP releases and measured next to Soundwave the value for the package (with some nice extras included) isn't bad. Certainly a lot more substantial than the Fansproject not-headmasters entries, although I'm tempted by not-Brainstorm if there'll be a faceplate. Don't want to go overboard and not appreciate individual pieces. But similarly, the quality of certain specific 3rd party items -- even at high prices -- makes the quality of a lot of other product seem disappointing.

And I think it's time to start clearing out some undisplayed stuff.

Maz
2013-10-30, 01:01 AM
This week we look at TakaraTomy’s MP-8 Grimlock in anticipation of the Hasbro Asia re-release, and to a lesser degree the KFC Micro Robo and another Transformers-related item that whips up anticipation and fever but is not a toy – the IDW Transformers More Than Meets The Eye ongoing comic. All of these items have/had high expectations to meet, so how did it work out?

Meeting Expectations – Part 3 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/meeting-expectations-part-3/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-11-07, 01:10 AM
As quietly as it came, TakaraTomy’s Transformers GT toy-line has seemingly given us its last offering and wrapped up with as little fanfare as when it launched. That’s not for a lack of trying on TakaraTomy’s behalf though, this gorgeous short-lived series has suffered primarily from being perceived as nothing more than expensive repaints of existing Alternity moulds and trying to wrestle fans’ attention away from the immensely exciting Masterpiece and 3rd Party scene currently grabbing all the headlines. Well, it got my attention, and with the series now complete, It deserves its moment in the spotlight. Again!

Transformers GT – Part 4 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/transformers-gt-part-4/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-11-13, 12:18 AM
The relentless wave of new Transformers products - comics, toys, official or otherwise - continues unabated. It's a challenge for every collector to keep up with exciting new lines and concepts, as well as trying to maintain - or heaven forbid expand - a vintage collection at the same time. Masterpiece, Transformers GT, Encore reissues and 3rd party not-Transformers are expensive standalone items, for anyone looking to budget wisely and not miss out on the best of all worlds, purchases have to be made with due care and consideration.

Meeting Expectations – Part 4 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/meeting-expectations-part-4/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-11-13, 06:54 PM
it would commit a person to building the kind of collection you see above, where one release justifies the next
Probably not what a toy store wants to hear, but not having any problems with picking a release of each mould personally. Far from a relentless wave it's going to be a while before Fansproject do more Decepticon Headmaster homages and we haven't even gotten pics of MP Wheeljack or Bumblebee AFAIK. It's been a few exciting and anticipated releases in a short space of time (Metroplex, Prowl, Bovis) but things have settled down now.

What has been pleasantly surprising is Hasbro upping its game with designs.

Knightdramon
2013-11-13, 07:34 PM
Actually, it's very easy for a fan to keep track of lines; most fans only prioritize on Masterpiece now, because it gave us what Binaltech and Classics tried to years ago;

The G1 cast with realistic cars and updated engineering.

As before, there's ups and lows in the release schedule. We're going through an "up" phase since we've gotten an original mould MP car and its repaints/retools back to back, but then we're going into an awfuly quiet period of a repaint and retool of Sideswipe [fourth release into the mould, SOME people might get tired] and Soundblaster, who cool as he might be, is not worth for the casual fellow the full retail admission price for one new cassete.

The next commercial "high" of the line, after Smokescreen, will be when Bumblebee/Wheeljack/Magnus come out.

The Reverend
2013-11-16, 12:12 AM
If Sideswipe was SOC he'd have the rifle in two different colours, the jetpack, cartoon and toy styled launchers, etc.

This.
Even scaling down to SRC, they don't seem to be skimping on accessories. I don't know what to do with some of mine.

Maz
2013-11-20, 08:51 PM
Influence is a funny old thing; childhood experiences and preferences weigh heavily on us, as do the tastes and decisions of our friends and collecting contemporaries, not to mention the Transformers community as a whole. There’s just so much to draw influence from in the Transformers universe, from current trends and fads to animated shows and various other forms of Transformers fiction. The easiest way to express appreciation or affection for one’s favourite characters in this hobby is to buy a figure. Past, present, rare, common, Masterpiece, World’s Smallest. But the power of fiction, good fiction, is such that even the most undesirable toy can be cast in a completely new light, suddenly bursting with relevance thanks to portrayal on screen, or words on a page.

The Power of Fiction | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/the-power-of-fiction/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Denyer
2013-11-20, 09:32 PM
Scale kills some of them, but Swerve/Skids, Brainstorm/Perceptor, Cyclonus/Whirl and even Cyclonus/Tailgate really do look right together post-MTMTE.

Knightdramon
2013-11-23, 06:15 PM
I sincerely hope that the comic-tie in figures will SELL.LIKE.CRAZY so that hasbro will eventually come to a happy medium between no figures at all [aka IDW so far] and let's thrown everybody on the shelves in the comic in one issues [aka marvel G1]. :lol:

Maz
2013-11-26, 10:57 PM
There’s no theme this week beyond simply “Transformers”. That’s pretty much all that ties the subjects of this article together; a smattering of new stuff, really old stuff and whatever lies in-between that I found while digging through boxes, old photo albums and folders. So it’s officially a filler week before the themed articles start up again (read MP-11 Starscream / MMC Fortis / MP-19 Smokescreen arrive), but I hope there will still be enough here to keep you interested.

Well, that’s a lie actually, there is a very weak theme running through this week’s subjects, that of the peripheral activities and interactions between Transformers and other media/events/hobbies that make it such a powerful and enduring brand, especially for enthusiasts like you and me.

Threads | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/threads/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-12-03, 08:56 PM
Between late 1984 and 1986, Hasbro released a series of Transformers characters in North America and Europe that never saw release in Japan as "Transformers", despite previously being available as part of other Japanese toy lines. These non-Japan Transformers became known in the Western world as Jetfire, Deluxe Vehicles and Deluxe Insecticons. Another thing that all of these toys had in common was that they were not manufactured by Hasbro or Takara.

Deluxe | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/deluxe/) <- CLICK TO READ

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Big thanks to Brr-Icy, jonnyshaft, karaokeninja and Mijo for the contributions.

All the best
Maz

numbat
2013-12-04, 12:01 PM
That was a really enjoyable and interesting read - thanks!

Skyquake87
2013-12-04, 06:51 PM
what, no shockwave?! :)

Maz
2013-12-10, 09:23 PM
Just as the Takara-designed Autobot Cars, minibots, Decepticon jets, Megatron, Soundwave and his cassettes have their roots in the early 1980s Takara Japanese toy-lines Diaclone and Micro Change Series, a number of non-Takara Transformers - like the Deluxe Insecticons, Deluxe Autobot Vehicles, Omega Supreme and Jetfire - originate from older Japanese toy lines as well.

Pre-Deluxe – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/pre-deluxe-part-1/) <- CLICK TO READ

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Huge thanks to Colin Pringle and Jeremy Kaufmann on this one.

All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-12-18, 12:12 AM
There’s more to “Pre-Transformers” than Diaclone, Microman and Takara, and there’s definitely more to them than just being predecessors to Transformers toys. The figures we looked at last week in Pre-Deluxe – Part 1 included Takatoku and Bandai Valkyries from SDF Macross, the Mugen Calibur and Ovelon Gazzette from Dorvack – proper toy lines in their own right with animated series to boot. Now, while the remaining figures on our list didn’t enjoy an animated series, they deserve mention and recognition. This week we look at Armored Insect Battalion Beetras by Takatoku – the toys that would become Deluxe Insecticons – and briefly, Toybox’s Mechabot-1 (pre-Omega Supreme) and the Astro Magnum by Toyco (Pre-Shockwave).

Pre-Deluxe – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/pre-deluxe-part-2/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-12-24, 01:11 PM
Return of the King, the return of Starscream, the return of MP-11. For everyone who originally missed out on Takara Tomy’s Transformers Masterpiece Starscream when it was re-tooled as MP-11 (“What do I need with another MP Starscream?”) and realised in time what a sore omission it turned out to be in their Masterpiece collecting, Hasbro Asia have recently reissued MP-11 with another run due early in 2014. Online images rarely do this magnificent creation justice, so having finally added him to the MP shelf, I can comfortably say what others have said for months – I will never need another G1 Starscream.

The Coronation | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/the-coronation/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Maz
2013-12-27, 09:29 PM
At Christmas, we may have occasionally succumbed to consumerism, materialism and buying-copious-amounts-of-Transformerism. With our Source Blog Collector Interviews we often succumb to the allure of immensely large and attractive Transformers collections from well-known collectors, meticulously maintained and put together with the most painstaking dedication at great expense and sacrifice. That, however, does not represent the entire fandom just as those traits do not fully represent Christmas. With the greatest respect to our diverse and unforgettable interviewees, and Richard Brown’s modest collection, please prepare yourself for possibly the most engaging Source Interview thus far with someone who may seem aloof about collecting toys, but is very serious and gifted in accidentally bringing together UK community members for what will be known down the eons as “PubCon”, as well as being “one-third responsible” for the amazing upcoming “An American Way Of Death” TF Noir.

Collector Interview 20 – Richard Brown | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/collector-interview-20-richard-brown/) <- CLICK TO READ

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All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2013-12-27, 09:48 PM
That is the greatest collector interview I've ever read. What a healthy and refreshing perspective on this silly hobby :)

Certainly beats hearing the usual stories of having a bajillion toys out of some need to impress people.

Maz
2014-01-01, 01:36 AM
As 2013 races towards its conclusion, collectors are taking stock of all the new Transformers figures they’ve added to their collection in 2013, a year that saw the Takara Tomy and Hasbro Masterpiece lines engage a higher gear and really start giving fans what they supposedly wanted. A year that saw 3rd Party companies present even greater competition for collectors’ spending and a number of new lines like Transformers GT and Transformers Go launch in Japan. A year that saw BotCon pump out more exclusives and the Generations line pay further homage to classic TF characters and IDW comic stars.

For the closing TFSource article of 2013, I will be reviewing my own 2013 toy purchases and listing, in reverse order, my top five acquisitions. These will not necessarily all be 2013 releases, just toys I bought in 2013 that have made the biggest positive impression on me. Considering my collecting history and specialisms, the results may be surprising to some – and yet entirely predictable for those that read this column weekly.

Top 5 Purchases of 2013 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/top-5-purchases-of-2013/) <- CLICK TO READ

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Happy new year, everyone!

All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2014-01-01, 10:51 AM
For me, there's only been two this year that I've felt have cut the mustard from HasTak, Masterpiece Soundwave and Generations Springer. And of those two, its Springer that wins hands down the 'toy of the year' trophy from me.

Whilst I appreciate the revitalized Masterpiece line and the impressive figures its produced this year, they're not really much fun to play with. I love MP Soundwave and his tapes, but I do worry that with my usual heavy handedness I'll end up breaking them. Soundwave's overally tight hips and Ravage's skinny frame are constant heart stoppers on what has been one of my most expensive purchases which rather takes the sheen off what is otherwise an excellent package.

Springer, by comparrison is just what the doctor ordered after a year of unimpressive FOC Generations toys that by turns were hollow or ugly (and if your name is Soundwave or Grimlock, shelfwarming like f**k at your local branch of TRU) and depressingly poor Beast Hunters toys. When HasTak get it together they prove they still have the chops to produce some superb toys with a good mix of playability and innovation and plain good looks. Its just bloody depressing that Springer's the exception and not the rule.

inflatable dalek
2014-01-01, 01:55 PM
After initially not being sure about Springer (mainly the...side-ey bits on the helicopter looking like folded up arms), I've since come to love him more and more to the point I would probably kill if he told me too.

Knightdramon
2014-01-02, 12:56 AM
Considering that I only bought like...10 figures in 2013 [counting the cassette packs as 1 purchase rather than 2]...

My very best purchase? Yamato's VF19Kai in 1/60 scale. Possibly one of the best transforming figures ever.

Very next? MP Smokescreen.

Soundwave has a few issues which mostly stem from being designed to work as a container for 5 other figures. The animal cassettes are intriguing, Rumble/Frenzy is a glorified basic figure with fine paint apps.

Also, released much earlier but actually bought in 2013, HA Jazz was very neat.

Warcry
2014-01-02, 05:08 AM
For me, there's only been two this year that I've felt have cut the mustard from HasTak, Masterpiece Soundwave and Generations Springer. And of those two, its Springer that wins hands down the 'toy of the year' trophy from me.
I have to agree with you. These two guys are a cut above -- one is an almost perfect display piece and the other is an almost perfect toy. (Sandstorm is also awesome, but despite the remolding he's still the same basic toy as Springer and I wouldn't count him separately). None of the other new releases that I've bought or seen this year have been anywhere close to their pedigree, with most of them falling closer to the "painfully mediocre" category and only a few working their way up to "good".

So these guys will share their space on my list with First Edition Bulkhead, an older toy but one that I only just managed to track down this year. I think I actually like him a bit better than Springer, but he doesn't get as much attention because he's one of only a handful of Prime toys in my collection and only three of them are actually out on display currently.

G1 Rippersnapper is #4, not because he's actually good but because owning him finally completed my two decade long quest to collect all of the Terrorcons! Considering how small and simple he is, and how little I paid, he's definitely punching above his weight.

A bunch of Beast Wars toys are left to vie for the last spot. Torca, TMII Dinobot, TM Cheetor and Polar Claw are all great, but I think Sky Shadow just edges the rest of them out as my favourite BW acquisition of the year.

another tf fan
2014-01-02, 06:25 AM
I had a more limited year this year, but I bought a few transformers and I think they go like this:

Gen Springer
Gen Metroplex
MP Soundwave and his cassettes
MP Prowl/Smokescreen/Bluestreak
Gen Orion Pax

HeavyArms
2014-01-04, 04:59 AM
I bought very few this year because of my resurgence in Lego, so it would go something like this:

Year Of The Snake Omega Supreme
Fall Of Cybertron Blaster
Year Of The Snake Optimus Prime
Prime Beast Hunters Abominus (I'm counting all five as one)
Prime Beast Hunters Beast Fire Predaking

Clay
2014-01-06, 02:25 AM
Hard to say... it was a busy, busy year for new product, official and not.

Masterpiece Prowl and Bluestreak sure are pretty, aren't they? Absentee launchers aside, they nailed the look.

Generations Springer/Sandstorm deserves all the praise it gets, I think. It's amazing that it came out simultaneously with Blitzwing. The contrast is substantial.

I also liked the tiny Abominus. With all the giant third party combiners coming out, the Terrocons seem to be in their right place by being smaller and less substantial than the other ensembles. It suits them.

Generations Hoist was a big deal for me. Along with Grapple and the giant not-Devastator Hercules, he completes the central cast of my favorite G1 episode, The Master Builders. :D

Outside of the official product range, I've been infatuated with the third party stuff I've acquired. Have to pick and choose more, but the issue that works in their collective favor is the competetive nature of the niche market they're fighting a spot in. Too many to list...

Maz
2014-01-08, 12:14 AM
And so begins 2014, a year that promises much in the way of new official and unofficial Transformers figures from Takara Tomy, Mastermind Creations, FansToys, Hasbro and many others. The Masterpiece line continues to churn out fan favourites, whether they be licensed Autobot cars or leaders like Ultra Magnus and Star Saber. Third party companies like MMC will complete their Not-Predaking while FansToys will tackle Masterpiece-sized Not-Dinobots. So what do I feel will be my 5 favourite purchases of the upcoming year based on what we know?

Top 5 Purchases of 2014? | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/top-5-purchases-of-2014/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/x2014o.jpg

All the best
Maz

another tf fan
2014-01-08, 07:06 AM
I know I'm really looking forward to Masterpiece Wheeljack, Bumblebee and Ultra Magnus.

I have focused most of my collecting habits towards masterpiece releases lately.

Blackjack
2014-01-08, 01:07 PM
Great article, though it kind of comes down to differing tastes. I personally have no interest in the five toys you mentioned. I personally don't buy and can't afford to import third-party toys, and in any case the only one I have ever entertained the notion of buying is that awesome Sixshot Hexatron toy... and I didn't, despite having a lot of love for Sixshot. Never owning a third-party toy before but having seen a lot belonging to other collectors, they usually underwhelm, and their massive 'four times more expensive than a Hasbro toy that size' price is a deterrent. Granted, the third-party Predakings and Sixshots do look great... but they're just things that will never set foot in my collection unless I decide to swallow my own words some time in the future.

Not exactly a big fan of Masterpiece versions of Wheeljack and Bumblebee, though Ultra Magnus is tempting depending on how great they make it. After five months of dealing with customs bullshit, Prowl ended up rather... well, he's not bad, but he's not as 'oh hell this is awesome' that Soundwave is. He's a great toy that resembles Prowl but it's just a step up from the Universe toy I already own and is somewhere in a box. Wheeljack is going to be a better, heavier version of the already-decent Wheeljack I own. Never been that big a fan of Wheeljack either, not enough to drop Masterpiece amounts of money, and I flat-out hate G1 Bumblebee's design. (to me Bumblebee is a mute sports car with black stripes and a weird-looking mouthless face, not a fat midget. ;))

Magnus interests me both design-wise, though again the price might be a deal-breaker and again it depends on whether they can make his car carrier work as an armour and as a good Ultra Magnus.

And besides with a lot of Generations toys I am gunning for next year, these high-end expensive toys that each costs four or five deluxe-class Generations toys aren't exactly making themselves endearing. Instead of getting another Wheeljack (again, I don't hate Wheeljack, I just already have a toy of him) I could get, say, Waspinator, Whirl, Rattrap and Skids, for example. I mean, Wheeljack is a great design, he's a great car, but ultimately he's not that much different... not enough to warrant dropping a lot of money to import him.

Blackjack
2014-01-08, 01:22 PM
I agree with the general love given towards Generations Springer. Would also throw in a vote towards Soundwave, though like Knightdramon mentioned earlier he does suffer due to being a container for other figures. Still a pretty nice toy, though I was far more impressed with Laserbeak than Soundwave.

Prowl was decent. I like him a lot, and he is as perfect as Prowl will ever be, but unlike Springer or Soundwave he doesn't blow me away.

Really like the Terrorcons as well, though Abominus himself is underwhelming. Hun-Grrr was a flop but the other four are easily the four of the best toys and remakes of G1 characters that I own. I also like Ripclaw a great deal more than she probably deserves.

Other than that, the other toys I bought this year are mostly middling-decent or flawed. Prime fails to astonish me like it did with the earlier waves... Shockwave and Magnus were pretty cool although they don't really do that much. Most of the other good toys are purchases made of older toys, and among those which I enjoyed are G1 Reissue Skids, First Edition Bulkhead, RiD Gigatron (more a nostalgia thing, owned Gigatron when I was like five) and a bunch of other Beast Wars toys (Prowl, Torca, Spittor, Ramulus and Polar claw stand out as being really good).

Skyquake87
2014-01-08, 04:01 PM
Ditto. Third party stuff is too expensive, fragile and for display only. Great if that's your bag, but not for me. Not-Predaking does look impressive, but that's ultimately what he's being bought for - how he looks. Not really what I'm looking for in a toy.

Just two Generations toys I'm looking forward to: Whirl....and Scoop, oddly enough. He looks pretty cool and exactly the sort of character Generations will improve on. Hoping for a UK release though, £20 for a deluxe on import is the wrong side of value for money for me.

There isn't much else TF wise I'm particularly excited for. After a long hard thought, I just can't muster any enthusiasm for the Masterpiece Autobot cars. I like the G1 toys and I like my Binaltech and Alternators and they do basically the same job (plus: with added rubber, chrome and die-cast!) so I'm finding them an easy pass. Of course, if Hasbro bring any of them out, I may think again... :)

Warcry
2014-01-08, 04:56 PM
I find myself agreeing with Blackjack as well.

The appeal of most third-party stuff is lost on me, for the most part, and while a few of the items that have come out over the years have seemed nice most of them are based on characters I don't care for or use design styles that really turn me off (Sixshot in particular was something I was prepared to drop the money on, until I saw detailed pictures of the final product and realized how distractingly overdetailed he was).

And Masterpiece stuff is usually falling in the same boat, for me. The heavy focus on cartoon-accuracy in the most recent batch is a huge turnoff for me, since the toy and comic designs really rate as far more important to me. Characters like Prime or Soundwave, whose designs are iconic and don't change much from one medium to the next, wind up impressing me quite a bit in Masterpiece form. Guys like Prowl or Sideswipe or Red Alert, on the other hand, just leave me cold. I'm not saying they're bad toys, because they're not. The molds are very good and the amount of work that went into them is very obvious. But for the most part they're not for me.

But you know what is for me? Beast Wars! Waspinator and Rhinox may have snuck out in December in a few places but they're going to be 2014 purchases for me, and along with Rattrap they are three of the toys I am anticipating the most. Waspy's original toy is already pretty good so I'm looking forward to seeing how he measures up, while Rhinox and S1 Rattrap were a couple guys who definitely needed upgrades from their original designs.

As for the other two, I have to fall in with Skyquake and say that Whirl and Scoop look like they're going to be a whole lot of fun. Most Generations toys are either "modernized" versions of the characters or pre-Earth designs, so it's really refreshing to see a couple toys come out that look just like the G1 toys with some added joints. The Seekers, Cyclonus and Hound need some company in that regard.

The only other toy that I'm really looking forward to, at the moment, is the new Legends Cosmos. Right now I'm not as excited for him as I am the others, though, so he lands outside of my top five. Who knows how that'll change when I've actually got them in hand, though?

I'm curious to see how many of these guys are actually in my top five when 2014 rolls to a close, since we really only know about the stuff coming out for the next three or so months. Out of the six I'd be willing to bet at least three will crack the list -- maybe more, since the last half of 2014 is liable to be very heavy with Movie product and that's never been my favourite stuff.

Auntie Slag
2014-01-08, 05:44 PM
Wow, Generations Cosmos (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/generations-classics-44/generations-legends-cosmos-payload-in-hand-images-178962/) looks seriously funky!

Accessories wise, he should come with a bandana and some cardboard for a makeshift breakdance floor, which would further give the excuse to team him up with a mini ghetto-Blaster instead of that white space shuttle thing!

Blackjack
2014-01-08, 06:59 PM
Will agree with the anticipation on Whirl, Scoop and the Beast Wars guys. I'm also quite looking forward to the little guys: Cosmos and Shrapnel especially, but also Swerve and Tailgate.

Like Skyquake said, there has been a lot of versions of the Autobot cars. G1, Binaltech/Alternators, Classics and its successors... not to mention incarnations released in Prime/Movie/Animated lines. And by this point yet another Wheeljack or another Bumblebee or another Optimus Prime just feels... well, it's great that they're making it, great for those people who like those kinds of things, but they're redundant to my collection. Counting on top of my head, I own two different Wheeljack toys that look like souped-up versions of the G1 design, and around seven Bumblebees. Unlike Whirl or Rhinox or the rest, who I don't own in any version... which is why I am extremely excited for the Generations batch and is mostly indifferent to the Masterpieces.

Being, oh, well-developed, real characters thanks to MTMTE and Beast Wars helps a whole lot too.

most of them are based on characters I don't care for or use design styles that really turn me off (Sixshot in particular was something I was prepared to drop the money on, until I saw detailed pictures of the final product and realized how distractingly overdetailed he was)

Overdetailing doesn't bother me -- I collect Movie toys, after all -- it's just that... well, he doesn't seem quite right somehow. Might just be the purist in me talking, but combined with the rather ridiculous price tag, the massive size (where am I going to put him?) and the fact that I won't dare to play or mess around with him thanks to those two reasons and just display him and look at him forlornly...

Skyquake87
2014-01-08, 09:54 PM
...I can't get into the new Beast Wars toys. I like that Hasbro have recognised the franchise does have a life outside of the 1984 cast, but...I like my Beast Wars toys as they are. They have decently acceptable beast modes and have the articulation that modern TFs have. The show accuracy is nice, but I dunno...maybe its because I was in on the ground floor with Beast Wars and am happy with the toys I bought at the time (well, except my Transmetal 2 figures which are shedding chrome like glitter. boo).

Scoop has been a figure that I am surprised that I want. Especially as I scoffed that he was being made at all. He's an annoying plot contrivance in RID and a forgettable G1 toy, but his Generations toy looks so good.

Whirl I would like, because, well, its crazy Whirl. And his G1 toy looks awful. I hope we get a proper Generations Roadbuster at some point. I kind of wish they'd gone with MTMTE design but he looks good enough as he is.


What I'd really like for 2014 is some god Decepticon toys. The Autobots get all the good ones, and the bad guys have to make do with inappropriate repaints or sub-standard original designs.

Clay
2014-01-08, 10:00 PM
But you know what is for me? Beast Wars! Waspinator and Rhinox may have snuck out in December in a few places but they're going to be 2014 purchases for me, and along with Rattrap they are three of the toys I am anticipating the most. Waspy's original toy is already pretty good so I'm looking forward to seeing how he measures up, while Rhinox and S1 Rattrap were a couple guys who definitely needed upgrades from their original designs.

I found Waspinator a few days ago. Cats love him! (http://s50.photobucket.com/user/claywyatt1982/media/VID_20140104_135637.mp4.html) I'm generally of the idea that Waspinator's original toy (and particularly the 10th anniversary reissue paint deco) has held up extremely well, and that he didn't really need a new toy like, say, Rhinox. But the new version is just absolutely spiffy. It gives the impression that they just took the original toy and refined it to be closer to the animation model instead of trying to reinvent wheel as with Cheetor. It's different enough to not feel like double dipping on the original mold, though.

Knightdramon
2014-01-12, 01:58 PM
I think we're all ignoring one huge aspect of '14...the movie line.

We haven't seen more than one figure from a line that's going to run from May to possibly mid January :p

Onto the available, on hand options...

I am looking forward to MP Wheeljack, Bumblebee, Magnus and Star Saber. Especially Magnus. His MTMTE portrayal has made me like him A LOT and I can't wait to have an MP version of the character on my shelves.

Like the new versions of the 3 BW guys, but not too fussed about picking them up just yet.

Not much on the 3rd party scene interest me, unless MMC releases that Nova Prime this year.

Blackjack
2014-01-12, 03:24 PM
I think we're all ignoring one huge aspect of '14...the movie line.

We haven't seen more than one figure from a line that's going to run from May to possibly mid January :p

Frankly, DOTM is kind of a massively underwhelming affair both design and distribution wise, not to mention the toys available in the toyline. I do hope they either re-invigorate the movie line into something more akin to the first two movies, but if that's not an option my wallet will be happy that I'm only collecting Generations toys.

Star Saber.

I completely forgot this dude's getting a Masterpiece toy, though his shoehorned appearance in MTMTE kind of puts me of any chance of buying him at all.

..I can't get into the new Beast Wars toys. I like that Hasbro have recognised the franchise does have a life outside of the 1984 cast, but...I like my Beast Wars toys as they are.

But not every one of us is fortunate enough to have Beast Wars toys. I really, really, really love Beast Wars, and yet the only show characters I can find are either broken second-hand figures, or ridiculously expensive because they feature the Telemocha or 10th Anniversary paintjob, or are gray-faced Waspinators and clear-plastic Infernos. And where I live, Beast Wars toys are extremely rare on the secondary market, and are upmarked to ridiculous amounts.

I mean, BW toys age really, really well. The bunch of (mostly non-show) Beast Wars toys I got are, I daresay, far more fun than a lot of the modern toys... but I certainly am far more excited with the prospect of a show-accurate Waspinator that doesn't cost a fortune, a Rattrap with proper articulation in robot mode and a Rhinox that isn't embarrassing.

Cliffjumper
2014-01-12, 03:29 PM
Not sure on Star Saber myself... nothing against the guy particularly, but ten years ago I'd have been so excited about the MP but now I dunno... Star Saber's just another random super robot to me now and wouldn't compare well to SoC stuff I feel.

Not too crazy about Magnus either. The random alt mode's always put me off however cool the character is - call me any time anyone sees a car carrier than resembles a barely folded-up set of robot armour and we'll talk. Takara's love of the original animation models means it's going to remain a pair of arms stapled together over a chest.

Denyer
2014-01-12, 03:45 PM
Wheeljack's really the only MP I'm particularly looking forward to, although if the Bumblebee's spectacular might go for it.

Third-party, Scoria is definitely of interest and pre-ordered, not-Mindwipe maybe, really want to see an FP Skullcruncher... and if there's no sign of an MP Shockwave in the next year or so I'll probably try for a third party one on the secondary market.

Think it's really getting time to clear out a lot of other stuff that isn't getting displayed, more-so than acquiring additional pieces.

Knightdramon
2014-01-12, 04:57 PM
I completely forgot this dude's getting a Masterpiece toy, though his shoehorned appearance in MTMTE kind of puts me of any chance of buying him at all.



Really? Because that's all the incentive I needed!

If it weren't for Remain In Light I wouldn't be drooling after an MP Star Saber to put on the VILLAINS side.

I mean, f*ck burning justice and courage, give me the religious fascist :lol:

Maz
2014-01-15, 12:12 AM
He finally arrived, on the very final day of 2013 for me having been pre-ordered in March of the same year. Delayed beyond his Masterpiece Datsun stablemates on account of his re-tooled shoulder design and for reasons of recreational Takara Tomy fan torture, MP-19 Masterpiece Smokescreen has landed to a tremendously mixed reception. MP-17 Prowl and MP-18 Streak set the bar immeasurably high for this mould in quick succession over a short period of time, so Smokescreen had to be exceptional to justify lasting awe and effect. Was he?

Last But Least? | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/last-but-least/) <- CLICK TO READ


http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/xsmo04.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/xsmo05.jpg

All the best
Maz

another tf fan
2014-01-15, 08:36 AM
Maz may not be thrilled but I love this toy!

Blackjack
2014-01-15, 10:39 AM
Not a big fan of Smokescreen for similar yet differing reasons: I love Smokescreen the character, I love love love his deco and the retools they made to the original toy, and I definitely appreciate the amount of work they did to turn the Prowl/Bluestreak mould into Smokescreen.

But I just dislike Smokescreen's cartoon missile launchers., but Smokescreen is someone who I cannot imagine without missile launchers so again that becomes an unnecessarily irritating problem.

Also we all know I hate the fake sponsors. Either do them properly to homage the original racecar, or do cartoon-accuracy properly and don't do them!

The head does look fairly odd, now that you've brought it to my attention.

Generally it's just nitpicking, though, and I'm just being a bit of a 'grrr not perfect' ass on a toy that's already really good. If they don't cost so much apiece I would own all three. And Sideswipe. And the cassettes.

Warcry
2014-01-15, 04:24 PM
Honestly I think they did a great job of replicating Smokescreen's cartoon model -- at least as good as Prowl or Bluestreak. It's just that Smokescreen's 80s character model looks like ass compared to the original toy, the Alternator and the designs he's sported in the modern Dreamwave and IDW comics.

I'm not a fan of the sponsor decals either, and I agree with Blackjack that they're unnecessary. But the head and missile launchers are what really kill the look for me, and they're a key element of his traditional cartoon look, so... I wasn't expecting to like him, honestly, because of those elements. Whereas Prowl is actually a bit of a disappointment to me because I was really excited by the prospect of an MP Prowl only to be let down by the lack of any of the toy details that actually make him interesting.

Have to agree with Maz that Bluestreak is far and away the nicest of the three, which I didn't expect at all. :)

Maz
2014-01-23, 12:30 AM
The road to Feral Rex continues with the release of the Mastermind Creations Reformatted Ground Assaulter R-05 “Fortis”, a 3rd Party product based heavily on the original Transformers Generation 1 Predacon “Headstrong”, one fifth of MMC’s combiner “Feral Rex”. The G1 Predacons were famous and loved throughout the Transformers fandom as they combined into one of G1′s most adored combiners, the mighty Predaking.

MMC’s Feral Rex – or Not-Predaking – looks by far the best of the three offered by 3P companies and has already received considerable praise. R-05 Fortis is the second Feralcon to see release, following hot on the heels of R-03 Bovis. So how does Fortis measure up, is it a standalone success or just a means to an end?


Meeting Expectations – Part 5 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/meeting-expectations-part-5/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/xfor01.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/xfor09.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/xfor27.jpg

All the best
Maz

Clay
2014-01-23, 12:39 AM
So how does Fortis measure up, is it a standalone success or just a means to an end?

I'll let you know next week when mine gets here!

Knightdramon
2014-01-23, 09:15 PM
Seeing as he's a minor remould of an already well-received figure, he's sadly the one out of 5 predacons in this iteration who's a means to an end.

Did you know that both leg limbs are designed in a way you can flip them around in beast mode to differentiate them? One's belly can act as their back and vice-versa, the limbs just all twist around.

Maz
2014-01-28, 11:45 PM
Under the weight of newer Transformers products, one can sometimes find it hard to keep up with every new variant and development that comes along, never mind continue to catalogue the unyielding tide of vintage discoveries that continue to be made. In some cases, the vintage revelations are news to most of us who hadn’t paid close enough attention to certain areas of G1 Transformers, while to others it is knowledge hard earned from giving particular niches of the hobby distinct focus and commitment. The beauty of this community is that eventually, it will all make its way to the surface and continue to decorate the Transformers G1 tapestry.

Marginally More News To Me | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/marginally-more-news-to-me/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/xnom07.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/xnom02.jpg

All the best
Maz

Maz
2014-01-31, 11:14 PM
Once in a while we have the pleasure of meeting a Transformers collector who goes beyond the norm, beyond just amassing plastic for personal amusement and satisfaction. Someone whose roots run deep into the Transformers community and even a little of the industry itself. A person who gives back as much as he takes, providing great service for collector friends, helping make the hobby a better place through creativity, talent and hard work. Someone who takes time out of their life to contribute and add to the enjoyment of others. Sid Beckett is such a person. He also happens to have a frankly stonking Transformers collection to boot. Fully deserved.

Collector Interview 21 – Sid Beckett | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/collector-interview-21-sid-beckett/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2101.jpg

All the best
Maz

Blackjack
2014-02-01, 08:34 AM
That is a LOT of toys. I want.

What's that red coloured Trypticon?

Auntie Slag
2014-02-01, 11:00 AM
I have an odd fascination for the weird green and blue Metroplex. An incredible collection, love the eccentric figures e.g. Sunstreaker with a tiger emblem on the chest.

Denyer
2014-02-01, 06:10 PM
http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/627627-generation-2-metroplex-project-neon-scramble.html

^ Same custom as in the pics?

Nice tour and walkthrough. :up:

Auntie Slag
2014-02-01, 07:14 PM
Yeah, that's him. It's almost like Metroplex designed by Jasper Conran (Winter/Spring collection).

Maz
2014-02-04, 11:03 PM
Could this be a masterpiece, or a Masterpiece, even? It was meant to be. Once upon a time Takara Tomy considered releasing a Huffer (or “Drag”) to go with Masterpiece MP-10 Convoy but the idea never came to fruition. So, with their debut offering, have Cubex nailed Masterpiece levels of aesthetics, quality, design in their Not-Huffer “Huff”, allowing him to be seamlessly integrated into a Takara Tomy or Hasbro collection of Masterpiece Transformers? Is he even the best Not-Huffer on the market? Good luck finding a majority opinion, but if you’re interested in mine, read on!

Masterpiece or Not? | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/masterpiece-or-not/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/xhuf01.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/xhuf06.jpg

All the best
Maz

Cliffjumper
2014-02-05, 12:18 AM
$70. Turns from a truck cabin with folded up robot legs on the back of it to robot with a truck cabin on the back of its' neck. Find that one curiously easy to pass on myself, be interesting to see if Takara can do worse.

Maz
2014-02-05, 12:19 AM
That's what I would have said before seeing it in hand. Ah well, I love it.

All the best
Maz

Cliffjumper
2014-02-05, 12:24 AM
From experience I find it very easy to enjoy just about any new figure when you've just got it. It's if you're still actively picking it up in a few months time when you've bought others since that's the real test (something that's rather lost on the "got to get the first review on Youtube!!!!" types).

Denyer
2014-02-05, 12:26 AM
Nice piece and probably as good a rendition as there'll be -- better than the Masterpiece cassettes, for instance -- but not either novel engineering (lots of trucks, cars and planes out there) or a character fiction has given me much affection for, so there's plenty of other stuff around I'd go for first.

Cliffjumper
2014-02-05, 12:30 AM
Nice piece and probably as good a rendition as there'll be

Eh, while I'm not fond of Huffer either, so if completism bites I'll take my chances with Takara's version as it would presumably be at worst half the price.

inflatable dalek
2014-02-05, 08:03 AM
Yeah, whilst it's hard to see the official one being hugely different- I mean, how do you come up with something Hufferish without winding up with him having a cab hanging off his back? Plus the truck bed is something both MP Prime's have struggled a bit with- equally the relative cheapness of the Takara version means it'd basically be insane not to at least wait and see what it looks like.

This is basically aimed at people with no patience, especially as Huffer is likely to come fairly soon after Bumblebee and the inevitable Cliffjumper, both he and Brawn are not only well liked in their own right but arguably have the most high profile remoulds of the remaining minibots.

Mildly surprised they've gone for such a blatent name as Huff, that's bordering on what Hasbro really wouldn't turn a blind eye too.

Skyquake87
2014-02-05, 10:19 AM
Kind of nice, but I don't care for Huffer's animation model (I can instantly hear his whiny, moany voice). I like that the close inspection on the toy highlights the flaws, of which a lot of these 3P products suffer from - parts not locking securely into place, etc - which make Takara look impressive.

Even amongst 3P manufacturers, its easy to put out a "this'll do" product knowing some folk with far too much time and money will hoover this up no questions asked because its 'Geewun and its so frickin' rad.'

Aside: amused to see so many ebay auctions for Warbot Defender once Generations Springer came out.

Cliffjumper
2014-02-05, 10:38 AM
I think its' biggest flaw is the wild overdetailing myself...the cab also looks worse as a proper truck cab rather than the empty plastic box of the original Minibot, which makes it far too hard to ignore in robot mode.

Huffer's one of the few first series characters I don't really have much time for, despite the best efforts of the TMUK/CG2 crew (the others being Starscream, who makes Grimlock look fresh, and Brawn, who's a prick). Gears does whiny better without being brown and purple.

Knightdramon
2014-02-05, 08:11 PM
Even though I am not the world's biggest Huffer fan, I like the one primarily featured in the article more than the other.

The other mould, in truck mode, looks like one of those ugly trucks they sell for children here in tobacco shops in the UK.

That being said, I do find the current trend quite tedious---one company after another trying to fill the gaps in MP collections. You get one nice figure, two months later you get a somewhat nicer figure of the same guy from another company, four months later a 3rd figure comes out and so on.

We're on the...4th, 5th Bruticus kit/figure? We've had 2 different Devastators by 2 different companies, in about 4 different versions all together.

And I still believe we'll get another one. Heck, is it 2 or 3 Predaking figures released concurrently now? :lol:

Cliffjumper
2014-02-06, 12:12 AM
And none of the ****ers have done any Throttlebots.

As I've said elsewhere I find the sheer number of 3rd party figures to be a turnoff in itself; you're paying a lot of money for something which could be superseded in a month (a lot more than, say, you would do buying a FE Prime figure and then liking the RiD one more), especially when at the moment the outlook for a proper MP Huffer isn't bad. If a figure grabs you, fine, but the gap-filling approach is insane.

Plus if in a couple of years Takara do cancel MP there'll be a fresh batch of 3rd party figures out to cover anyone they didn't do, most likely much better than the ones out now as the producers will have more experience, so it's not even like you'd be ruing not getting this Huffer for seventy dollars.

Seventy cocking dollars, mind, complete with Pat Lee detailing.

EDIT: And yes, the Warbot Defender thing is probably the most hilarious thing to happen since the Stepper reissue. Eighty dollar fan figure obliterated by straight-to-retail Hasbro Voyager, beautiful.

Cliffjumper
2014-02-06, 12:15 AM
Mildly surprised they've gone for such a blatent name as Huff, that's bordering on what Hasbro really wouldn't turn a blind eye too.

At this stage Hasbro surely don't give a shit as long as they steer clear of direct trademark lifts. Half the design team probably own one of these things.

Clay
2014-02-06, 01:36 AM
He's rather small for $70. And was a Takara Huffer meant to be included with MP10 as the article states, or did they just tease the idea in a tongue-in-cheek, "we'll get to this later" kind of way?

Knightdramon
2014-02-06, 08:25 AM
And none of the ****ers have done any Throttlebots.

As I've said elsewhere I find the sheer number of 3rd party figures to be a turnoff in itself; you're paying a lot of money for something which could be superseded in a month (a lot more than, say, you would do buying a FE Prime figure and then liking the RiD one more), especially when at the moment the outlook for a proper MP Huffer isn't bad. If a figure grabs you, fine, but the gap-filling approach is insane.

Plus if in a couple of years Takara do cancel MP there'll be a fresh batch of 3rd party figures out to cover anyone they didn't do, most likely much better than the ones out now as the producers will have more experience, so it's not even like you'd be ruing not getting this Huffer for seventy dollars.

Seventy cocking dollars, mind, complete with Pat Lee detailing.

EDIT: And yes, the Warbot Defender thing is probably the most hilarious thing to happen since the Stepper reissue. Eighty dollar fan figure obliterated by straight-to-retail Hasbro Voyager, beautiful.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

I love this post. This line " If a figure grabs you, fine, but the gap-filling approach is insane." sadly is very very true.

And they have made 3 throttle bots thus far...just a different company.

Maz
2014-02-19, 02:17 AM
Everywhere you look now in vintage Transformers collecting, every niche and sub-category, the bitter end items that are required to polish off a section of the hobby are running into the very high hundreds or even low thousands of dollars. The purposeful march of certain toys and rarities towards four figures has left many a collector grateful for their early interest in things such as Japanese Transformers, pre-Transformers, minibots or even Mexican Transformers and premium North American items before the waves crested.

Four Figure Hobby | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/four-figure-hobby/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/xsite02.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/xcon15.jpg

All the best
Maz

Clay
2014-02-19, 03:39 AM
Another factor is entropy. As time marches on, more vintage boxed figures get opened, creating an ever dwindling supply. And the demand for many of these things is the highest it's ever been. I remember flipping through a toy magazine in 1998 or so that had a price guide proclaiming that a boxed G1 Megatron traded for around $300 at the time. Despite multiple reissues, I think a boxed vintage figure still probably goes for more than that now.

Denyer
2014-02-19, 07:22 PM
Overlord and Scorponok both deserve revisiting in a Classics-type line...

Not stuff I'd ever be much interested in collecting, but neat pics. It's always interesting to see the less-traveled stuff. :up:

Skyquake87
2014-02-19, 07:59 PM
Yes they do, but only as proper Leader Class toys.

As for the other bits, yeah I like seeing the oddball variants and whatnot, but not something I could ever spend a few grand on. I don't have the money for one thing! The only one I've ever been interested in is Tigertrack. And he's always hovered around the £200, so er, no (the Masterpiece doesn't do it for me either).

Knightdramon
2014-02-19, 08:16 PM
These things are extremely limited, but they have an extremely limited "fan"/buyer base as well.

Of all these options, the G1 Jetfire mould can be obtained in [arguably] better colours for anything from 80-140 USD in one of the reissues of the last decade by Bandai.

I do have to ask though...how expensive/limited were those MTMTE variant covers? Comics are...3.99 per issue, right?

22 issues all in all, 3 covers each [more or less], with one cover being the RI one.

87.78 USD per 22 issue run.
So say, 175.56 USD for all A and B covers. Which isn't that accurate, since some issues can be found for very cheap/even free.

So it took over 824.44 USD to collect the RI covers for 22 issues? That's around 37.something USD per issue! Are they that stupidly rare? Are they 1 in 10 retailer incentives or something?

Wow...just wow.

Clay
2014-02-21, 02:15 AM
Paging Cliffy: Reprolabels to the rescue! (http://reprolabels.com/Binaltech/smokescreen.php)

Maz
2014-02-25, 09:29 PM
A lot of time has been spent discussing the rarest or most expensive members of Transformers categories and sub-lines in this column, but this week I’ve asked some of the most respected and knowledgeable collectors in the community to nominate one toy from their assigned category that they believe best represents that toy line. One toy that, in their opinion, embodies a category’s best qualities, essence and could conceivably be used to sell the toy line to a non-believer or non-collector.

The question they were asked was as follows:

“What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”.


Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-1/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/xamba07.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/xamba12.jpg

With thanks to:
- Tony Bacala
- Brr-Icy
- Gordon Yip
- CZ Hazard

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2014-02-25, 10:27 PM
Great question. Other than the obvious response, which would be to talk up anything the hypothetical person seemed initially interested in, I'd probably plump for...

Original series -- Grimlock. It's got "robot" and "dinosaur" (and specifically t-rex) covered, doesn't make too many concessions to the transformation but benefits from points of articulation from it, and has lots of play value. For the collector rather than the maybe casually interested person, it'd be something like Browning, Shockwave or Soundwave. For classic car enthusiasts it'd be Mirage. Depends a lot on audience.

In other series the leaders generally got better toys, and are a good keystone for a collection.

G2 -- Laser Rod Prime.

Beast Wars -- Transmetal Megatron, for similar reasons to Grimlock, assuming we can pretend that dodgy plastic syndrome doesn't exist.

Beast Machines -- the Optimal Optimus / Primal Prime mould is a big chunk of fun.

RiD -- yeah, would agree with Fire Convoy.
Armada -- Wheeljack.
Energon -- Galvatron.
Cybertron -- Starscream.
Robotmasters -- Convoy.
Binalts -- Smokescreen.
CHUG -- Bumblebee.
Animated -- Bumblebee.
Movies -- Ironhide.
Prime -- Wheeljack.
Masterpiece -- probably the newer Prime, although I don't particularly like it myself.

Skyquake87
2014-02-25, 11:32 PM
Nice to see some non-obvious choices although I'm pretty sure the Diaclone should be disqualified on a technicality (i.e. its not a Transformer).

I have no idea what I'd recommend...have to have a think about this one...

Maz
2014-02-28, 09:33 PM
When one thinks of high-end vintage Transformers and pre-Transformers collectors, you cannot blame a person for automatically assuming said collector is from either the UK, Italy, France, Scandinavia or the Netherlands. It certainly came as a surprise to me to find that Alberto Jimenez, a collector from Spain, had such a deep interest in G1 Transformers, pre-Transformers and vintage variants from Europe and Japan – not to mention a breathtaking collection. I had never associated Spain with having a major Transformers community, even though it is inextricably linked to G1 through gold boxed Classics, so here’s Alberto from Madrid to tell us about his life with Transformers, and he’s not holding back either…

Collector Interview 22 – Alberto Jimenez | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/collector-interview-22-alberto-jimenez/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2201.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2206.jpg

All the best
Maz

Clay
2014-03-03, 11:04 PM
Where do these people get those lovely glass display cases?

Blackjack
2014-03-04, 05:05 PM
Ooo, can I join in?

G1: Denyer makes a very compelling argument for Grimlock, and Grimlock is indeed a wonderful-looking toy amongst the sea of wacky early-G1 toys, though there are many choices. Soundwave and his cassettes are solid choices, as is Shockwave. Car-wise, I'd probably go with Sideswipe or one of the Datsuns.

G2 -- the Cyberjets, though Laser Rod Prime again an excellent choice.

Beast Wars -- Oooh, so many things to choose from. Transmetal Megatron, Transmetal Rattrap, Silverbolt, TM2 Prowl, Transmetal Tarantulas, Airazor, Air Hammer, Spittor, other Spittor... though TM Megatron stands one head above the rest, so he wins.

Beast Machines -- Tank Drone and Motorcycle Drone.

RiD -- GIGATRON!

Armada -- Not particularly interesting to me, though I suppose if I have to choose one I'd pick Tidal Wave?

Energon -- Mirage.

Cybertron -- Cybertron Defense Hot Shot. Either that or the big Optimus and Starscream toys.

Robot Masters -- Optimus Primal. ;)

Binaltech/Alternators -- Smokescreen.

CHUG -- Springer! Oh, no, wait. Mainstreams. Either Drift or Mirage.

Animated -- Prowl.

Movies -- Battle Blades Bumblebee.

Prime -- Wheeljack or Bulkhead.

Masterpiece -- Soundwave.

Maz
2014-03-04, 08:46 PM
If you were trying to sell the concept and qualities of the Transformers Animated toy line to a non-collector, or an enthusiast who doesn’t collect Animated, which one toy would you pick to represent and ‘sell’ the line? What about Generation 1 1984 to 1986? And Masterpiece? DOTM? These are the questions we put to our contributors, and their responses demonstrate the kind of insight – and surprises – that we hoped an article series like this would produce.

The question they were asked was as follows:

“What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”.

Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-2/) <- CLICK TO READ

I added my own choices for last week's Part 1 categories on my new blog Square One: Square One: Ambassadors Part 2 - and my picks for Part 1 (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/ambassadors-part-2-and-my-picks-for.html)

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambb04.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambb12.jpg

With thanks to:
- Genetic
- Puffmarko
- IronhicHide
- Scubaboy31
- The Last Autobot

Part 1 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-1/)

All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2014-03-04, 08:49 PM
Right, I totally forgot about this and I'm going googly doing ebay listings so this'll make a good diversion:

Original Series : Aside from Grimlock, I'd go for Optimus Prime which has surprised me as he's such a bloody obvious choice, but he's got a lot going on. Looks magnificent in alt mode, has a lovely transformation and a smattering of articulation in robot mode. He can fire a small car out of the trailer and cracks out a 'base mode' on top of all that.

Generation 2: Road Pig. Excellent alt mode, clever transformation and ball joints! Also : light up weapon oooooooh

Beast Wars : Cybershark (original version), hands down the most impressive of the original Beast Wars toys, despite mixing together three different types of shark in his alt mode.

Beast Machines : Jetstorm (deluxe version). Nice, detailed design. Fluid transformation and the less wacky of the oddball robot modes.

RiD : X-Brawn. A clever puzzlebox matching beast-era engineering to the G1 ethos of robots becoming cars and trucks.

Armada : Megatron. Still the best toy the Decepticon leader has ever had.

Binaltech/Alternators : Smokescreen - the Binaltech 2004 version. Just a shade better than the original version, mainly by rouynding out the Subaru Impreza somewhat and giving it that sort of bounce that rally cars have.

Energon : Divebomb. Best Energon toy and probably the best Scout Class toy ever.

Cybertron : Stumped with this one as I found all the toys garbage. I'll go with Galvatron.

Classics: Mirage. I love this elegant and lithe form that just sweeps into vehicle mode. Just beautiful.

LAM : Incinerator - he's got propellers for hands!

Masterpiece : Grimlock - still the best of the high end collector bunch of toys.

ROTF: Bludgeon- one of those 'game changers' that Hasbro occasionally turn out, before we revert to business as usual.

Animated : I'll go for Lockdown. For being the only Animated figure that wasn't totally crippled by the line's piss poor QC.

HFTD: Terradive - a flying fishy looking warrior! And he's orange :)


RTS: Wreck Gar - as with Bludgeon, a seriously impressive toy

Powercore Combiners : Undertow & Waterlog. Best of a very poor bunch, despite being a fun concept massively under utilized by Hasbro.

DOTM : Crankcase. The only deluxe that wasn't a total waste of time. Also: Pincers!

Prime: Soundwave. Superb wafer thin toy and , along with Wheeljack, an impressive indicator of what the Prime line could achieve. And one of the few figures from the toyline that wasn't hampered by poor finishing. Pips Wheeljack for me!

Generations : Springer (see ROTF: Bludgeon)

Sades
2014-03-05, 06:36 AM
Hound and I were discussing this thread. We might get divorced soon as a result. :p

Stealing Denyer's list here...

G1- Grimlock. DINOSAURS. Hon. Mention Shockwave. Hound sucks for picking Jetfire as a representative of G1, even though it's a Macross toy...
G2 - Yeah, Laser Rod Prime.
Beast Wars - TM2 Megs. Or BW Megs. Or SPITTOR.
Beast Machines - Ultra Jetstorm. If it wasn't for the chrome issue... both mine and Hound's Jetstorms were pretty effed up.
RiD - SUPERRR FIRE CONVOYYYYY
Armada - Scavenger. STOMPY STOMPY.
Energon - Meh.
Cybertron - Meh.
Robotmasters -Meh.
Binalts - Smokescreen will always be my "It" toy in this category.
CHUG - pass for now...
Animated - Meh.
Movies - Meh. Actually, Bumblebee. Any Bumblebee. Everyone knows who Bumblebee is. Just hand your theoretical subject a frigging Movie Bumblebee and watch their dull, confused eyes (which I imagine they'd be at this point in the list) light up in recognition. Bumblebee, or Optimus Prime.
Prime - Ehhh... pass for now.
Masterpiece - Gotta go with Prime.

Blackjack
2014-03-05, 06:46 PM
Or SPITTOR.

SPITTOR

Cliffjumper
2014-03-09, 01:46 PM
G1 - Red Alert. He's everything early G1 is about - that weird mix of realism and gross implausibility, clean lines, 1000% reliant on stickers, can move arms a little bit. Really, though, G1 is an arbitrary retroactive label that covers ten years of toys during which design philosophy changed more than it has done for about the past ten lines. I'd take Hardhead or Slugslinger from the dodgy bit in the middle and Blackjack from the random "throw shit at the line until something sells" stuff at the end.

G2 - Road Pig, just (Prime, Jolt and Hooligan are in and around, though). Probably still the only good Transformer that turns into an actual motorcycle, colour scheme is all about G2 without being actually hideous, name is awful.

BW - Dino Megs, natch.

MW - Mirage. Good mould, though the RiD scheme is actually nicer.

BM - the tank drone, because it's actually alright.

RiD - probably Prowl. He's a shellformer of course but it's a nostalgic selection for being the first proper vehicle Transformer I ever got that could actually hold a pose beyond "hold arms straight up the air".

Armada - not really any diamonds in the shit as the whole line was based on an awful aesthetic of big, plasticky, primary coloured boxes full of outdated electronics. If push came to shove I'd probably say Wheeljack or Perceptor's combined mode.

Alternators - Smokescreen

Energon - was Starscream the one which totally knobbed G2 Smokescreen? He was slightly less shit than the rest.

Cybertron - the one they used for Classics Crankcase wasn't too bad. Who was that originally? Ratchet? Jetfire? Swoop?

Classics - Bee, though the redecos which removed the white looked better.

Movie - Leader Brawl. Tha's wha ah'm talking aboot.

Universe - Sunstreaker, though Hound was nice in robot mode. Random buggy mode not so much.

Animated - There was a little Bulkhead flipchanger thing someone bought for me that was mildly amusing for about five seconds until you realised that was all there was to it. Matches the cartoon perfectly.

ROTF - Leader Optimus. **** the kids.

2010 - Sidearms Sideswipe

DOTM - Jolt, with his "sod it, just paint him like Bluestreak or whatever, we've not painted anyone like Bluestreak for about a week" scheme and crap plastic perfectly sum up the half-arsed frustration of the line.

Prime - FE Bumblebee is very nicely done, just had the misfortune to come out just as everyone was starting the backlash against the movie assortments.

Masterpiece - Ooooh.... Grimlock's very good, but Sideswipe sort-of made me actually give the line the time of day, and then Bluestreak made a big impression because it's probably the first time a recolour/retool's genuinely knocked me out. So I'll go with Smokescreen, because he's really good but also encapsulates Takara Tomy's ability to **** anything up for no real reason.

Clay
2014-03-11, 03:06 AM
2010 - Sidearms Sideswipe

Yay! How's he doing, anyway? Still haven't bothered to start painting another for myself. It's only been... two years?

As for my own list of representatives of entire lines, I'm too tired to think of every line, but it'd probably be this:

G1 - I'd probably pick two extremes, like Optimus and Grotusque, and just say that most stuff falls between the two.

G2 - Some Cyberjet. Any one would do.

BW - Bonecrusher. Solid design below the neck, but completely crazy with the head.

Armada - Sideways. Neat idea, but not so neat execution

Energon - the leader Optimus. I can't explain why, but I've always loved the fat fellow. Also nicely representative - chunky, blocky and compromised by the combining gimmick (head and limbs are small).

Cybertron - Dirt Boss. Weird and ugly, and while the key gimmick doesn't get in the way, it also doesn't really do anything significant.

Alternators: Shockwave. Beautiful car, and the character choice is typical of how left-field the line would get.

Classics - The Seeker mold. It's a nice update and a mascot for cost-savings through remolds and multiple uses that's become the hallmark of the New/Old lines.

Movies x3 - the ROTF Leader Optimus. Dreadfully complicated and worth every bit of the tedium.

Prime - Vehicon. Pretty and neat, but noticeably undersized.

Maz
2014-03-12, 12:07 AM
An ambassador should be the embodiment of the qualities and character of its people, representing the best that they have to offer. So when we asked our contributors to choose one Transformers toy that could act as an ambassador for Binaltech/Alternators, Armada, Japanese exclusive G1, or G1 between the years of 1987 to 1990, it was no easy task. Nevertheless, true to form, the guys have offered up a talisman for each line, and the debates are sure to continue as they did after Part 1 and Part 2.

Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-3/) <- CLICK TO READ

I added my own choices for last week's Part 2 categories on my new blog Square One: Square One: Ambassadors Part 3 - and my picks for Part 2 (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/ambassadors-part-3-and-my-picks-for.html)

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambc12.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambc13.jpg

With thanks to:
- Superquad7
- Heroic_Decepticon
- CZ Hazard
- StayingInTheBox
- Brr-Icy

Part 1 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-1/)

Part 2 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-2/)

All the best
Maz

Maz
2014-03-18, 11:34 PM
Pick one Transformers toy to represent an entire line, category or series. Simple, isn’t it? Not when you consider that your choice cannot solely reflect a personal preference but instead should embody the qualities of the whole line and give non-collectors or non-believers a way into a particular Transformers sub-category. It’s why Jetfire cannot represent Generation 1, the rest just don’t measure up! This week our contributors take on TF: Prime, Revenge of the Fallen, European Generation 1.5 and Super Collectible Figure (PVC).

Our question, as before, was: ‘‘What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”.

Ambassadors – Part 4 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-4/) <- CLICK TO READ

I added my own choices for last week's Part 2 categories on my new blog Square One: Square One: Ambassadors Part 4 - and my picks for Part 3 (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/ambassadors-part-4-and-my-picks-for.html)

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambd10.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambd14.jpg

With thanks to:
- Heroic_Decepticon
- The Last Autobot
- Fighbird
- Brr-Icy

Part 1 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-1/)

Part 2 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-2/)

Part 3 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-3/)

All the best
Maz

Maz
2014-03-26, 01:00 AM
Every category of Transformers toys has its talisman. A shining beacon that stands out and represents the very essence of that category, its qualities, shortcomings and character. And just as vintage and modern official Transformers lines have their ambassadors, as do 3rd Party products inspired by Transformers. Now while we can’t take one product as representative of the entire scene (because there’s only one *cough* Quakewave *cough* answer), we can select four 3rd Party companies who have put out enough product to make our contributors’ lives difficult!

Our question, as before, was: ‘‘What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”

Ambassadors – Part 5 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-5/) <- CLICK TO READ

I added my own choices for last week's Part 4 categories on my new blog Square One Square One: Ambassadors Part 5 - and my picks for Part 4 (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/ambassadors-part-5-and-my-picks-for.html)

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambe07.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/xambe06.jpg

With thanks to:
- Heroic_Decepticon
- CZ Hazard
- Jonny Napalm
- Genetic
- Tekering

Part 1 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-1/)

Part 2 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-2/)

Part 3 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-3/)

Part 4 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 4 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-4/)

All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2014-03-26, 07:47 AM
Hmmm...third party aren't official Transformers toys, are they though? You can't really use them to sell Transformers when they're not, er, Transformers. They are not really representative of the franchise either.

Its interesting in this series of articles how many of the featured toys that have been singled out are high end collector pieces. Whilst they might be the 'most impressive' (i.e. big show off pieces) , if you were trying to introduce someone to Transformers and truly be an Ambassador, are you not going to pick something that's a bit more affordable and less likely to make someone balk at the price should they decide they like the look of a figure? A well made deluxe or scout class toy is going to do more for someone casually interested than these great baubles.

Denyer
2014-03-26, 06:44 PM
Dunno, adults are, what, about 10% of sales (if not more these days) -- and there's a market for high-end collectibles considering that Forbidden Planet is still apparently solvent.

"New" adult fans independent of movies are unlikely, and the nostalgia market includes things like people walking into TRU and spotting MP Soundwave or Prime. Which is another reason it's insane to do minor character repaints of premium stuff like that.

A value round would be interesting to see, though. The new Swerve/Cosmos size class is pretty good but overpriced for what they are, and a lot of what's on the shelves in FoC, Prime/BH, IDW Classics, etc, is fairly niche.

Knightdramon
2014-03-27, 08:10 AM
Its interesting in this series of articles how many of the featured toys that have been singled out are high end collector pieces. Whilst they might be the 'most impressive' (i.e. big show off pieces) , if you were trying to introduce someone to Transformers and truly be an Ambassador, are you not going to pick something that's a bit more affordable and less likely to make someone balk at the price should they decide they like the look of a figure? A well made deluxe or scout class toy is going to do more for someone casually interested than these great baubles.

Agree with this one. Moreover, what the average high-end fan is accustomed to is something that doesn't even register with us anymore--plastic tolerances.

Simple things like, where to apply pressure on a rotating pin joint to move it [like MP Soundwave's side calf things, or laserbeak's tail fins]. These things are like second nature to us, but for a newb who may have just spent 100+ USD on a TOY, they might just grip it the odd way and...SNAP...there goes the joy of them getting into the franchise :lol:

So now, I wouldn't trust a newcomer adult with such toys from the get-go anymore than I would trust a child with them, but that's just me.

Clay
2014-03-28, 12:34 AM
I still like Energon Optimus Prime. It's fun to play with.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-28, 05:19 AM
Its interesting in this series of articles how many of the featured toys that have been singled out are high end collector pieces.

How else are these people meant to show off? It's not very impressive to boast about a toy that anyone can buy, is it? The very thought goes against the elitism and superiority true Transformers collecting represents.

another tf fan
2014-03-28, 06:36 AM
I had completely forgotten about igear Destroyer.

...I guess it makes sense why...

Cliffjumper
2014-03-28, 01:00 PM
what's on the shelves in FoC, Prime/BH, IDW Classics, etc, is fairly niche.

And also worse than a dozen Hitlers.

Warcry
2014-03-28, 03:38 PM
How else are these people meant to show off? It's not very impressive to boast about a toy that anyone can buy, is it? The very thought goes against the elitism and superiority true Transformers collecting represents.
:lol:

But yeah, Maz's articles (when they're not just bigging up the hot new product that TFSource has in store) do tend to skew towards the "high end" side of the collecting game. His articles often don't even seem like they're about Transformers at all, since so many of them are focused on expensive stuff like Diaclone and third-party toys. That's not to say that he and those who share his tastes aren't entitled to their opinions, or that the stuff they're bringing up in these "Ambassadors" articles isn't awesome. But an $80 Tantrum or $300 Diaclone Swoop isn't going to tempt anyone into Transformers collecting unless they're already a collector of another brand's high-end toys.

Even the relatively cheap out-of-production stuff like RiD Prime or Armada Starscream is probably reaching a bit. I mean, I think Beast Wars toys are great but I wouldn't expect a non-fan to scour eBay or second-hand shops for them just on my recommendation. If they were that interested in the line they wouldn't need me to tell them what to buy.

For me at least, the perfect "ambassador" toys would be something cheap and easily available, with good looks and poseability but a shallow learning curve when it comes to transformation. In that regard, the only toy out of the entire five articles that actually makes sense to me is Prime Wheeljack. The whole series reads more like a "favourite toys" compilation than a list of figures that are actually going to get people into buying the toys.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-28, 08:55 PM
Uh-huh. There is to a degree an argument that quality costs - better toys are sought after and cost more than dogs. But Transformers has so many arguments to the contrary (e.g. most of the Movieverse Deluxe Bumblebees are good figures, it's just that TF fans are fed up of them, or the way Warbot Defender was blown out of the water by Springer) that this series really feels like a missed opportunity.

TF fans are like that. Ask self-styled serious fans who their favourite character is and few will say Optimus or Megatron or whatever; there's a deliberate reach for a more 'obscure' 'hardcore' guy like Impactor, Dinobot (trust me, at best casuals just think he was Grimlock) or that little twat out of MTMTE that nobody outside of fandom has really heard of.

It's the same with toys. It's like you're not somehow a True Fan if you can say "this guy's as cheap as chips and common as muck but really awesome"; there's got to be this reach for weird Japanese variants and stuff that no-one would buy if it didn't have a vague resemblance to a G1 character.

tahukanuva
2014-03-28, 09:27 PM
Ask self-styled serious fans who their favourite character is and few will say Optimus or Megatron or whatever; there's a deliberate reach for a more 'obscure' 'hardcore' guy like Impactor, Dinobot (trust me, at best casuals just think he was Grimlock) or that little twat out of MTMTE that nobody outside of fandom has really heard of.

Which is just silly, because I bet almost nobody's actual favorite is anywhere below the top 8 or so mainstays, at least partially because no-one below about Ratchet ever really gets a consistent character to latch onto.

I mean, everyone has a few personal softspot characters (like say, Deathsaurus) But you wouldn't try to get anyone into the franchise with a 'Best of Deathsaurus' comic, because it would be two shitty Club stories and a compilation of Dreamwave cameos, you'd give them a 'Best of Optimus/Megatron/Bumblebee/Starscream. Similarly, you wouldn't get someone into Transformers, even specifically G1/Diaclone with Diaclone Swoop; yeah he's pretty, but he's god-awful expensive and hella fragile. You'd recommend an Optimus Prime or Grimlock or Prowl because they're cheaper and better.

(Also "robot pteranadon" is about as functional an overview of Diaclone as "toaster" is of the movie lines.)

Maz
2014-03-28, 10:49 PM
Collectors with focus, aims and specific targets always have intriguing collections and a strict guideline as to how they indulge in the business of buying and collecting Transformers toys. Dave Shorter has a vision. His collection is one with a mission and purpose, one that aims to chart the journey and evolution of a single character through all the different eras and generations of Transformers, from pre-Generation 1 to the most up-to-date example of the toy. While it may have been his original remit, you will see that as with most of our collections, a little straying is inevitable...

Collector Interview 23 – Dave Shorter | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/collector-interview-23-dave-shorter/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2301.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2316.jpg

All the best
Maz

Clay
2014-03-28, 10:59 PM
TF fans are like that. Ask self-styled serious fans who their favourite character is and few will say Optimus or Megatron or whatever; there's a deliberate reach for a more 'obscure' 'hardcore' guy like Impactor,

I've thought about this from time to time quite a bit. The larger question I have is what draws people to "claim" characters, pick a favorite to root for, and the like? I don't know if it's a desire to find a fiction to learn about (which would be the franchise in general), then finding plenty of people already here, and then trying to find the niche within a niche that draws people away from characters that are well known. Maybe it comes from trying to distinguish themselves within a group of fans? Take Star Wars as an example. The average person may say, "Hey, Chewbacca's great." But a Star Wars nut may say, "oh, Chewbacca's okay, but I really prefer [obscure expanded universe character] because [reasons]." With Transformers, we have Prime and Bumblebee, who are generally appealing, and then we have superfans who'll champion, I dunno, the Seacons or something.

It's a bigger question than just transformers fans trying to out-obscure each other with favorite characters and toys, I think.

To come back to Maz's article though, maybe some of the items picked are examples of an affinity for something grown out of time/effort/money put in? Might be a touch of self-justification on spending too much money on rare variants is all.

Warcry
2014-03-28, 11:03 PM
I mean, everyone has a few personal softspot characters (like say, Deathsaurus) But you wouldn't try to get anyone into the franchise with a 'Best of Deathsaurus' comic, because it would be two shitty Club stories and a compilation of Dreamwave cameos, you'd give them a 'Best of Optimus/Megatron/Bumblebee/Starscream. Similarly, you wouldn't get someone into Transformers, even specifically G1/Diaclone with Diaclone Swoop; yeah he's pretty, but he's god-awful expensive and hella fragile. You'd recommend an Optimus Prime or Grimlock or Prowl because they're cheaper and better.
You said what I wanted to say better than I did!

Price is a huge factor here because if someone's not sure they're going to like something, it's way easier to talk them into spending $10 than $100. They're also not going to go out of their way to find the thing, so whatever you recommend they'd better be able to find it at their local Walmart/Toys'R'Us'/etc. And character is a huge factor too, because almost anyone who's thinking of buying toys for the first time is going to be looking for a familiar face.

If I'm recommending a first toy to someone from the Movie generation, I'm picking whichever of the AoE Deluxe Bumblebees look the coolest. If I'm talking to someone who grew up in the G1 era, I'm probably pointing them towards the current Generations Legends, where they'll have a good selection of recognizable 80s characters (and that asshole Swerve) to choose from, including the four main characters. They might not be the fanciest stuff out there, but they're cheap, they're neat enough and these theoretical new fans don't have as wide a reference pool to compare with as we do.

Uh-huh. There is to a degree an argument that quality costs - better toys are sought after and cost more than dogs. But Transformers has so many arguments to the contrary (e.g. most of the Movieverse Deluxe Bumblebees are good figures, it's just that TF fans are fed up of them, or the way Warbot Defender was blown out of the water by Springer) that this series really feels like a missed opportunity.
Quality does often cost, especially on the secondary market, but how many of us spent that much on our first "adult" Transformers? I'm sure a there are a few people out there who dove right in buying MISB Autobot cars back in the old days or who'd start off with Masterpieces now, but most people want to dip their toe in the pool before jumping in the deep end.

TF fans are like that. Ask self-styled serious fans who their favourite character is and few will say Optimus or Megatron or whatever; there's a deliberate reach for a more 'obscure' 'hardcore' guy like Impactor, Dinobot (trust me, at best casuals just think he was Grimlock) or that little twat out of MTMTE that nobody outside of fandom has really heard of.
Yeah, but I'd say Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, Starscream, Grimlock, Bumblebee and maaaaybe Hot Rod if you're talking to someone from the 80s are the only characters that you can reasonably assume most "casual" people actually know. What you're saying is like calling someone out if their favourite Star Trek character is Data instead of Kirk, Spock or Picard.

Now, if someone tells me that Getaway or Spittor is their favourite character? Yeah, they're probably talking out of their ass. But Impactor, Dinobot and even (*shudder*) Swerve don't even strike me as all that unreasonable (even if they're not who I'd choose to introduce a new fan to).

Cliffjumper
2014-03-28, 11:15 PM
What you're saying is like calling someone out if their favourite Star Trek character is Data instead of Kirk, Spock or Picard.

No... Grimlock and Hot Rod are Data. Impactor's Barclay, Kyle or Number One.

Warcry
2014-03-29, 12:42 AM
To come back to Maz's article though, maybe some of the items picked are examples of an affinity for something grown out of time/effort/money put in? Might be a touch of self-justification on spending too much money on rare variants is all.
I think that's probably a part of it. Another part is probably tunnel vision, though. These high-end collector guys tend to be rather...focused, probably by necessity considering the price tag that a Diaclone toy or whatnot goes for. And for a lot of them that focus goes past that into full-on elitism. Maz himself doesn't do this, but I've seen a lot of folks in his end of the fandom dismiss anything and everything you can by at retail as stupid baby toys that only losers play with. And why would they want to recommend something that they themselves are so vocally not happy with?

No... Grimlock and Hot Rod are Data. Impactor's Barclay, Kyle or Number One.
Barclay I'll give you -- but he's an actual character with a fairly prominent role across two different TV series and a feature film spanning eleven years. Someone that nobody who isn't a fan of the show would have any idea about, admittedly, but he's still a character. And if someone told me that he was their favourite Star Trek character I'd think they're a little weird but I wouldn't assume they were just being obscure for obscure's sake.

(I totally set my PVR to record TNG reruns just because of this discussion...)

Kyle and Number One? I haven't watched TOS in ages, but unless my memory is playing tricks one of them was basically wallpaper and the other was only in one episode and is only remembered because of who played her. They can be...oh, let's say Bluestreak and Prime Cliffjumper. :)

Cliffjumper
2014-03-29, 05:31 AM
It's a bigger question than just transformers fans trying to out-obscure each other with favorite characters and toys, I think.

Oh, certainly. But I think fans of a certain mindset (and I should stress that it's only this mindset I'm talking about) definitely try to out-obscure casuals and newcomers, moreso since the films genuinely put Transformers back in the public eye.

Might be a touch of self-justification on spending too much money on rare variants is all.

Possibly. I think there is an element of "Shit, I've just spend a fortune on a black version of Tracks which looks worse than the one on clearance everywhere else... But I'm not letting anyone else know that". It'd be interesting to know how conscious that side of things is, mind. Do people actually get genuine pleasure from obscure, highly-priced repaints, pleasure they wouldn't from the standard version? How much of it is just gloating?

Denyer
2014-03-29, 11:18 AM
whatever you recommend they'd better be able to find it at their local Walmart/Toys'R'Us'/etc.
This is possibly why action figures are on the way out as much as rising prices -- fugly variants and disappointing designs sit on pegs month after month, with a wave system, and mean kids can't get what they're after (which tends to be characters as they see them in the prevalent fiction).

It's symbiotic, which Hasbro's latching onto more again with game and comic tie-in figures -- good characterisation + decent design = sales, with the characterisation being more important. Occasionally a great design will produce a bit of clamouring for fiction representation, but it's less common.

Ask self-styled serious fans who their favourite character is and few will say Optimus or Megatron or whatever;
Notwithstanding the daftness of picking just one, Prime/Megatron are likely to rate quite highly with most people. The strong lead archetype who does big impressive things fills in for characterisation where it's absent or lacking. Doesn't work quite as well with Hot Rod, Hot Shot or Bumblebee, as there's more to annoy.

Denyer
2014-03-29, 11:26 AM
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up - See more at: httx://tfsource.com/blog/collector-interview-23-dave-shorter/#sthash.9PtcQYnH.dpuf[
Don't think I've ever heard/seen that one before. :up:

In other news, I'm going to start avoiding TFSource if they do things like hacking the browser clipboard. Ctrl+C means copying the text the user has selected, not an opportunity to splice on URLs or anything anyone feels like.

edit:

It's the include from these idiots that's doing it --

http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js

Maz
2014-03-29, 01:48 PM
I've got to say, across all of the forums that I posted these articles on, I was really saddened and quite shocked to see what an intensely negative, jaded and - in places - actually hurtful reaction I got here. There's been a few times over the weeks that I wanted to reply, but I didn't know how to, genuinely, and separate an emotional response from some factual things that may show some of the members here that they had the wrong impression about a series of things.

Then I thought about what was said here and tried to reflect on how much of it may actually be true, so I'd take a good look at what I was putting out and how I was conducting myself in the hobby and what I buy and like, to see if I could better myself if the situation required it before coming here and addressing what people have taken time to say.

I quite honestly don't know where I stand with the above right now, but I do want to post some responses.

Hmmm...third party aren't official Transformers toys, are they though? You can't really use them to sell Transformers when they're not, er, Transformers. They are not really representative of the franchise either.

No, they are not, you're right and I agree with you. The premise of part 5 is purely to focus on the 3rd party collecting scene, and I chose 4 guys who I knew wouldn't mind contributing their time and photography for nothing in return other than to help me produce an article based on the idea I had for this mini-series. I assigned them a 3rd Party company each (sticking to 4 segments per weekly article - so 4 companies only), and I tried to pick companies who had enough product on the market where the answer wouldn't be so obvious the way Quakewave would so obviously have been picked for FansToys.

Once they were assigned their company, I asked them to choose a figure released by that company that could act as an ambassador for people (collectors) who would not normally buy something from them, in order to best represent the company's work in their opinion. Their choices were based on appreciation for the company, a particular toy (not always their favourite).

At no point have any of the chosen toys in any of the 5 chapters so far been meant to represent Transformers as a whole, the individual picks were to represent just a toy-line, a particular company, a particular era or sub-category of the wide range of things that come under "Transformers collecting" as I see it today.

Its interesting in this series of articles how many of the featured toys that have been singled out are high end collector pieces. Whilst they might be the 'most impressive' (i.e. big show off pieces) , if you were trying to introduce someone to Transformers and truly be an Ambassador, are you not going to pick something that's a bit more affordable and less likely to make someone balk at the price should they decide they like the look of a figure? A well made deluxe or scout class toy is going to do more for someone casually interested than these great baubles.

In some cases it's unavoidable because the category someone was assigned is by nature a high-end category, for example Masterpiece. There are some affordable bits in the range but by and large they're quite costly. I certainly can't afford to buy all the ones I'd like to have.

Pre-Transformers is the same, yes there are some cheap toys that one can still get good prices on in Diaclone, Micro Change Series etc, but the general state of play thee days is that these toys are very costly. It was inevitable that whatever was picked would be considered high-end and expensive. And if my contributor had picked something relatively cheap like a Diaclone Jumpstarter (and those are actually not all that cheap sadly), then it wouldn't necessarily have represented the category as per the parameters of the article.

So anyway, because you said what you did, I've gone back and looked at the choices, and in 5 chapters we've had 20 individual choices so far. Here they are per category:

Pre-TF: Pteranodon (Diaclone Swoop)
RiD/CR: Super Fire Convoy/Optimus Prime
Generation 2: Dreadwing/Smokescreen
Classics/Gen etc: RTS Lugnut
Animated: Deluxe Prowl
DOTM: Leader Ironhide
G1 84 to 86: Devastator
Masterpiece: MP-1 Convoy
Alt/BT: BT-08 Zoom Zoom
G1 87 to 90: Countdown
Armada: Starscream
JP Exclusive G1: God Ginrai
SCF/PVC: Seeker mould
ROTF: Leader Prime
TF Prime: Wheeljack
Late Euro G1: Thunderclash
iGear: Destroyer
MMC: Bovis
FP: City Commander Armour
TFC: Phantom F4 (sort of...)

Now from what I can see, some categories are unavoidably high-end because that's how things have worked out over the decades, but I wasn't going to exclude a whole era or category of what comes under the Transformers collecting scene (and yes I do consider preTF and 3P part of the scene) just because of that.

In addition, a lot of the toys from what I can see were available at retail within the time that most of us have been adult collectors. If those are now out of circulation and have appreciated a little on the second hand market, I just simply cannot put the choices down to elitism as a result, those are the toys that the contributors believed - with their justifications that I respect - that are the best ambassadors for those sub-set categories.

So in the above list, I have put in bold those that would as you say be considered high end collector pieces. I counted 9, and I think I'm being generous with God Ginrai because there has been a reissue that was available in TRU (that's the one I'd buy anyway) but I can see it's more expensive now on the 2nd hand market, and I actually don't know the value of a G1 Thunder Clash so I am playing safe and assuming it's not what we'd call affordable. I also included all the 3P stuff even though it would be very hard to pick entry level figures for the companies that were featured, so by the very nature of those choices they had to be high-end, because that's where a lot of 3P is pitched.

If you exclude the 3P chapter, out of the 15 Has/Tak categories selected, in my opinion only 5 could qualify as high end, and again I included ROTF Prime because although it was a retail figure, it's really expensive now.

I hope you can understand why I wouldn't necessarily agree with your original assessment of the choices made per category.



A value round would be interesting to see, though.

That's actually a fantastic idea! Would you mind if I gave some serious thought to doing a chapter where contributors would select an ambassador for a particular era or category/line/series of Transformers where value for money or a certain price cap were significant parameters?

How else are these people meant to show off? It's not very impressive to boast about a toy that anyone can buy, is it? The very thought goes against the elitism and superiority true Transformers collecting represents.

Do you have someone particularly in mind from the contributors I featured that you think is exhibiting this kind of behaviour?

I would again refer to the number of toys chosen in the categories that were available at retail (now I'm not going to get into a discussion about distribution woes though!) and say that my contributors probably bought them when they were at their lowest retail price and available to us during our adult collecting life; things like RTS Lugnut, RiD Optimus Prime, Prime Wheeljack, Armada Starscream, BT or Alternators Jazz, ROTF Optimus, a reissue God Ginrai/Apex Armour PM Prime, Heroes of Cybertron or SCF PVC Seeker, Animated Prowl and Leader DOTM Ironhide are all examples of this. Are so many of these toys genuinely that unobtainable now, if someone really wanted them, and worthy of rubbing in people's faces and boasting about? I don't see anything in that list where people could legitimately "boast" and feel elitist about there. I don't even think anyone could do that about a G1 Countdown, Thunder Clash or Devastator, MMC Bovis, G2 Dreadwing or MP-1 Convoy (let's not forget Masterpiece prime was pretty widely available).

So again, I think your response was really harsh and not representative of what has been featured or the personality and attitude of the people who contributed. I just can't understand what I've done (or they've done) to have deserved a reaction and comment like that.

:lol:

But yeah, Maz's articles (when they're not just bigging up the hot new product that TFSource has in store) do tend to skew towards the "high end" side of the collecting game. His articles often don't even seem like they're about Transformers at all, since so many of them are focused on expensive stuff like Diaclone and third-party toys.

TFSource have never told me what to write about, in fact I remember Curt moaning at me for featuring Transformers GT on 4 separate occasions because I was so in love with them as it wasn't reflective of what people were buying. I resisted 3rd Party products for years until a friend of mine gave me a Quakewave as a present and now I own three 3rd Party toys; Quakewave, Bovis and Fortis. That's it.

I also wrote about MP Starscream and MP Tigertrack when there were none in stock at TFSource. Same with Quakewave, MP Lambor and Alert and Soundwave. I wrote about them because I was experiencing them for the first time and I LOVED them, they rocked my world and I loved photographing them and waxing lyrical about what appealed to me. Did I do it with all of them? No way, I in no uncertain terms panned MP Smokescreen as being a real disappointment to me. And you know what? It was the one I looked forward to the most, so it's not all about "TFSource have this in stock! Go buy it!". I absolutely refute that as any sort of motivation behind my article topic choices, and if Curt wanted me to be a paid reviewer, that would be a completely separate arrangement.

I also have noticed that I have a reputation among the community for only writing about Diaclone toys. I also call bullshit on that, I had to do the same thing on TFW not so long ago when member RKillian claimed the same thing. I listed all the recent articles going back a number of months, topic by topic to show him I wasn't as Diaclone-centric as he was suggesting.

People sometimes don't understand that I will naturally feature what I buy, and for a period of a couple of years I specifically collected Diaclone 2011 to 2013 so that got a lot of air time. Nowadays I don't buy Diaclone, in fact I sold a massive part of my collection and I buy masterpiece and comics, so I write about those. I wrote some items on 3P because I had some items in my possession which thrilled me, so I wrote about them.

Has everyone forgotten all the "News to me" articles where I genuinely discovered new things in the hobby and vintage scene I wanted to share? What about the 3-part series I did on the non-Takara Transformers and pre-Transformers? What about the minibot articles? Mexican TF articles? European G1 articles? Japanese G1 articles? My stuff about Movie toys? The six part series on Binaltech? What about all the articles on the nature of collecting, things like giving up, not giving up, making sacrifices, having priorities, how to package toy safely for travel, tips for being a good seller, about fraudulent practices I've seen and witnessed to help people avoid them, articles about reissues, conventions, collectors' partners and display strategies?

If you find I don't write about Beast Era or Prime or Unicron Trilogy or G2...it's because I've never owned those toys, I wouldn't presume to produce anything of value to anyone on something I don't know about. Yes I would love to learn more about them, it's a matter of time and making opportunities to experience these things first hand to be able to produce articles of value for anyone who has my writing inflicted upon them. I don't want pity or sympathy, but it's a fact that the photography, editing, writing and producing/promoting of just one article can be over 12 hours work in a week, and for a full time 9-to-5 employee in a regular job with a young daughter - and my wife works weekends where I work weekdays - it's not as easy as you think to just dive in and research something brand new to produce an article. There's a good reason why I go to brr-icy for so many pictures.

In order to buy the Diaclones I used to have, I had to sell all of my Movie collection, all of my Classics, all of my Alternators, all of my Animated, most of my G1 (I never had too much G1, I never even had a complete 1984 collection at any point, never owned toys like Blaster, Octane, Broadside etc - I am not a completist, never have been), all of the minibot variants I had, but I never sold my Binaltech or my Movie HA figures or my mini con Six Speed collection. Can those latter items really be considered elitist?

These days I buy IDW comics that I like per month, maybe 1 reissue Macross figure if I can afford it, and a Masterpiece that I may have pre ordered, unless I've cancelled the pre order due to other priorities. I know it seems like I am totally into high-end stuff, but don;t mistake what I write about for what I own. I know very very few people that I've ever come across in this community online who are forum regulars who own less Transformers than me.

That's not to say that he and those who share his tastes aren't entitled to their opinions, or that the stuff they're bringing up in these "Ambassadors" articles isn't awesome. But an $80 Tantrum or $300 Diaclone Swoop isn't going to tempt anyone into Transformers collecting unless they're already a collector of another brand's high-end toys.

For me at least, the perfect "ambassador" toys would be something cheap and easily available, with good looks and poseability but a shallow learning curve when it comes to transformation. In that regard, the only toy out of the entire five articles that actually makes sense to me is Prime Wheeljack. The whole series reads more like a "favourite toys" compilation than a list of figures that are actually going to get people into buying the toys.

The series wasn't really aimed at getting contributors to choose say a Diaclone Swoop and convince Joe Random off the street to become a pre-TF enthusiast. It was more aimed at say someone like me who doesn't collect G2 being exposed to a G2 figure that would show me the virtues of the line, its character and shortcomings. The guys had really tough missions I think, and I've really enjoyed reading their justifications for their choices.

If those parameters weren't made clear enough to the readers through my introductions, then I must take responsibility for that. But at no point did I want the selections to represent Transformers as a WHOLE.


TF fans are like that. Ask self-styled serious fans who their favourite character is and few will say Optimus or Megatron or whatever; there's a deliberate reach for a more 'obscure' 'hardcore' guy like Impactor, Dinobot (trust me, at best casuals just think he was Grimlock) or that little twat out of MTMTE that nobody outside of fandom has really heard of.

It's the same with toys. It's like you're not somehow a True Fan if you can say "this guy's as cheap as chips and common as muck but really awesome"; there's got to be this reach for weird Japanese variants and stuff that no-one would buy if it didn't have a vague resemblance to a G1 character.

As a child my first connection was with Starscream, then as a I got older I liked Cyclonus more because of his s3 persona and movie entrance, and as an adult I find myself drawn to the portrayal of Mirage as the hero in Arrival From Cybertron/MTMTE.

In the IDW MTMTE comics I was most drawn to Rodimus and Ratchet, and in the Bay movies I liked Bumblebee, just as I did in Animated (also Blitzwing, because he was hysterical).

I don't know where that fits in with the logic you've applied to the situation and in the context of the articles.

I will also admit to having been partial to Dino and Barricade in the films, but that's purely because of my love for cars, exotic supercars etc. I have actually never owned my own car, but my collection is almost entirely car-based now. BT, TFGT, Diaclone cars, Human Alliance movie cars, those little minicon Six Speed variants, you get the picture.


(Also "robot pteranadon" is about as functional an overview of Diaclone as "toaster" is of the movie lines.)

Why? Gordon Yip's choice was based on the toy he most adored from his Diaclone and MC collecting experience, what he felt someone could find in a Diaclone or MC product that would interest them coming from a Transformers only background as an entry point that showed off the qualities and cool features that would make them want to delve deeper into Diaclone. I agree that figures like Great Robot Base and Powered Convoy are more fun and impressive than Pteranodon, but again ithink when you look at his mission brief, and his justification, it's not at all a bad choice.

However it is massively opinion based, I wouldn't have picked Swoop. To paste what I said to someone on TFW last night:

"Now on the subject of it being a poor choice and one that you disagree with, that's part of the territory with an article like this, and debate is inevitable. And invited.

The only thing I couldn't accept was that people disagreed with a choice because they felt there was an agenda there by the contributor to cast a company, category or toy line in a negative light through their choice of ambassador. One may interpret the choice of **** as having such implications, but all the contributors have picked toys they love. I've really enjoyed seeing people justify their choices and their affection for a multitude of figures across a multitude of lines, that's the main point of the article to me."

"It acknowledges the fact that someone made a choice for positive reasons based on merits they perceived a toy to have - but in the process neglected to highlight other figures that showcased the more original exploits of a brand/company/toy line that maybe someone else would have believed would better act as ambassador.

A difference of opinion basically.

Any further interpretation or implication drawn from that conclusion or difference is entirely the domain of the reader, which again one has to accept, as long as they in turn acknowledge that the original choice was made out of appreciation."

I
To come back to Maz's article though, maybe some of the items picked are examples of an affinity for something grown out of time/effort/money put in? Might be a touch of self-justification on spending too much money on rare variants is all.

Where do you see the justification for spending on rare variants in the 5 parts, specifically? If you can give me a concrete example maybe I can reflect on it, maybe give you some extra insight as I know all the contributors quite well and hopefully dispel the idea that this is what's going on, possibly allowing you to appreciate the choices for what they were meant to be, instead of seeing them in a negative light based on some personal collector agenda.

I think that's probably a part of it. Another part is probably tunnel vision, though. These high-end collector guys tend to be rather...focused, probably by necessity considering the price tag that a Diaclone toy or whatnot goes for.

There was a single Diaclone toy picked in the series, and it was for the pre-TF category. Do you have a particular contributor in mind or are you possibly stereotyping them all? Here's one example, my submission for TF Animated from Richard Brown was Prowl. Would you consider dedicating a short amount of time to exploring just how far Richard Brown is from the elitist image some of you feel is being portrayed here?

http://tfsource.com/blog/collector-interview-20-richard-brown/




Possibly. I think there is an element of "Shit, I've just spend a fortune on a black version of Tracks which looks worse than the one on clearance everywhere else... But I'm not letting anyone else know that". It'd be interesting to know how conscious that side of things is, mind. Do people actually get genuine pleasure from obscure, highly-priced repaints, pleasure they wouldn't from the standard version? How much of it is just gloating?

Are you possibly referring to the Diaclone black Tracks I've spoken about numerous times in my articles, is this a reference to me specifically or do you have someone else in mind? If it is me, then I'd like a chance to justify anything that you might be implying, but if not then I'll just leave it as your opinion or experience of a set of collectors you may have come across, because I can tell you categorically I do not keep company like that which you have described.

All the best
Maz

Maz
2014-03-29, 01:59 PM
It seems to be specifically Wordpress - or the blog - that's causing this, and it's a real pain in the neck for me too when I'm cross-promoting the articles and trying to feature a snippet of text.

If I paste direct from TFSource.com, their sales page, this doesn't happen.

So it's just the blog apparently.

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2014-03-29, 02:41 PM
Adding *.sharethis.com/* to an AdBlock filter will remove it. Not friendly from an accessibility or security point of view, and something it seems likely browser makers will notice and clamp down on eventually. Website owners often aren't aware of half the things code from other sites they link in is doing -- more often it's ads that end up introducing malware and similar problems -- but it's them put at risk as much as their visitors.

Guzzle comes out nicely in the darker Japanese colours (and is also something I hadn't seen before); hopefully he's a candidate for the same CHUG range that includes Swerve and Cosmos -- the movieverse one doesn't fit particularly well into a line-up.

Would be interested to see some of the other stuff people collect mixed in with these articles.

Denyer
2014-03-29, 03:33 PM
There is a lot of showing off in collecting circles, and that's in the context of most of our peer age group feeling pressured by time and money sinks such as marriage and/or kids, or other weighty financial commitments... I've gone a bit mad on third party stuff over the last year myself, but don't particularly post about it, and that's partly because of not wanting to come off as showy. (Although if I ever get time, will try to review some stuff.) A bit of it's possibly international cultural difference as well... the UK is as a whole quite negative about socio-economic display, although following the US a bit more these days.

I don't think Cliffy's responding specifically to you or anyone else specifically.

Would you mind if I gave some serious thought to doing a chapter where contributors would select an ambassador for a particular era or category/line/series of Transformers where value for money or a certain price cap were significant parameters?
As I say, would find it interesting. I'd also be interested to see a general series by people here about what they'd give a genuine newcomer to the hobby, not limited to toys -- basically a briefing in stand-out and relatively standalone comics, shows, figures, etc. as we go into a fourth decade of stuff. What we as long-term fans get the most bang for buck out of (pay-off to extended arcs, back-referencing, sentimental memory, homages) isn't necessarily going to do it for others.

It should be a bit easier with fiction or toys... with music it's extremely hard to remember a first listen.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-29, 04:35 PM
I don't think Cliffy's responding specifically to you or anyone else specifically.

Bingo. Short response due to impending evening baby juggle.

Warcry
2014-03-29, 05:20 PM
This is possibly why action figures are on the way out as much as rising prices -- fugly variants and disappointing designs sit on pegs month after month, with a wave system, and mean kids can't get what they're after (which tends to be characters as they see them in the prevalent fiction).
I think it's definitely why. Walmart and their ilk have smothered the action figure market by forcing the wave system on producers.

Hasbro would have been happy to keep the normal, show-accurate versions of TF:Prime Optimus or Bumblebee or Megatron on the shelves for the whole run of the show, I'm sure, as long as kids kept buying them. But big-box retailers seemed to get it in their head that toys are like fashions and if they're not constantly rolling out new stock nobody will buy them, so the normal versions of the characters go away and in the next wave you get a black Bumblebee, a Megatron who looks like a Sharkticon or a Knock-Out with gator parts...which kids don't want as much and which proceed to warm shelves more than the originals ever would. And meanwhile characters like Breakdown don't even get released because Hasbro needed to make multiple different Optimuses and Bulkheads just to keep them available in stores at all...

But you think Transformers have it bad? Try the superhero lines! My nephew loves characters like Batman and Iron Man, which you'd think would lead to him owning a whole bunch of toys from those universes...but nope! He can't ever find toys of anyone but the main characters, so instead of having $100+ of toys bought for him he's got exactly one Batman and one Iron Man (well, that and the old Super Powers toys of mine that I gave him).

In some cases it's unavoidable because the category someone was assigned is by nature a high-end category, for example Masterpiece. There are some affordable bits in the range but by and large they're quite costly. I certainly can't afford to buy all the ones I'd like to have.
Ah, okay. I think that distinction must have gone over my head. I thought you'd asked each of these folks to come up with the best Transformer they could think of for getting people into Transformers as a whole. What you actually did was ask them to pick the toy most likely to get an existing TF fan to start buying, say, G1 or Alternators? That means most of my comments aren't really applicable at all. :)

That's actually a fantastic idea! Would you mind if I gave some serious thought to doing a chapter where contributors would select an ambassador for a particular era or category/line/series of Transformers where value for money or a certain price cap were significant parameters?
I for one would look forward to reading this. :)

TFSource have never told me what to write about, in fact I remember Curt moaning at me for featuring Transformers GT on 4 separate occasions because I was so in love with them as it wasn't reflective of what people were buying. I resisted 3rd Party products for years until a friend of mine gave me a Quakewave as a present and now I own three 3rd Party toys; Quakewave, Bovis and Fortis. That's it.
If I've misread the relationship you've got with them, I apologize. I don't mean to imply that you're some sort of paid shill. But the switch in the focus of your articles from the old and obscure to the hot and new seemed very sudden and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wondered if the TFSource crew had asked you to write about them.

Unfortunately, the fact that you frequently write about newly-released toys on a site that sells toys means that a lot of folks are always going to have that moment where they wonder, "does he actually like this stuff?" And this isn't a thought that I've only had while reading your articles, either -- I ask that same question every time I see a video review that begins with a five-second splash screen telling us to go buy the subject of the review at TFSource or BBTS, before even giving me their opinion on it.

I'll freely admit that I'm being highly cynical here (and probably hypocritical as well since those same sites sponsor us), but after seeing the way that the same sort of mutual back-scratching basically destroyed the credibility of the video game review industry in the 2000s it's hard not to wonder if it goes on it our fandom as well.

I also have noticed that I have a reputation among the community for only writing about Diaclone toys. I also call bullshit on that, I had to do the same thing on TFW not so long ago when member RKillian claimed the same thing. I listed all the recent articles going back a number of months, topic by topic to show him I wasn't as Diaclone-centric as he was suggesting.
Not just Diaclone certainly, but the first...year or two, maybe, of your blog did a lot to create the impression that you were someone who mostly writes about old, obscure stuff. I don't think you should take that as a negative, though. The articles you've written about Diaclone, South American Minobots and such are some of the most interesting things I've ever read about that period in the hobby's history, and are quite memorable.

In order to buy the Diaclones I used to have, I had to sell all of my Movie collection, all of my Classics, all of my Alternators, all of my Animated, most of my G1 (I never had too much G1, I never even had a complete 1984 collection at any point, never owned toys like Blaster, Octane, Broadside etc - I am not a completist, never have been), all of the minibot variants I had, but I never sold my Binaltech or my Movie HA figures or my mini con Six Speed collection. Can those latter items really be considered elitist?
I don't want to give the impression that I'm calling you elitist -- your articles always gave me the impression that you were a pretty level-headed guy. But unfortunately, my experience in the fandom is that a lot of the people who share your interests are. The entitled and judgmental attitude that some MP and Third Party fans have towards the other TF toylines (and more importantly the fans of those toylines) is frankly reprehensible, and in my experience that's becoming more and more common as time goes on.

Why? Gordon Yip's choice was based on the toy he most adored from his Diaclone and MC collecting experience, what he felt someone could find in a Diaclone or MC product that would interest them coming from a Transformers only background as an entry point that showed off the qualities and cool features that would make them want to delve deeper into Diaclone. I agree that figures like Great Robot Base and Powered Convoy are more fun and impressive than Pteranodon, but again ithink when you look at his mission brief, and his justification, it's not at all a bad choice.
I'm not the one who made the original comment so I can't know what Tahukanuva was thinking, but for me it's not a question of quality. Pre-Swoop is an odd choice for Diaclone simply because if someone falls in love with the toy and wants to buy more like it...they really can't. He's very unique and doesn't really represent the bulk of the line (even the other Pre-Dinobots have a very different style to them). Still an awesome old toy, but maybe not the best way to show off what Diaclone is all about.

Also I think "Diaclone" has become synonymous with "Autobot cars" for a lot of people. I know that's what comes to mind first whenever I hear the word.

Strictly IMO, of course.

tahukanuva
2014-03-29, 05:38 PM
Why? Gordon Yip's choice was based on the toy he most adored from his Diaclone and MC collecting experience, what he felt someone could find in a Diaclone or MC product that would interest them coming from a Transformers only background as an entry point that showed off the qualities and cool features that would make them want to delve deeper into Diaclone.

And Diaclone Swoop is gorgeous, and I'm sure it's a great toy, but as an overview of Diaclone (and I should say that I've missed the point of the article a bit; I thought it was to show lines from the franchise to new/non-fans, not to show off specific lines to already-fans who didn't collect those specific lines) it's a weird choice, because Diaclone is not a line of robot dinosaurs. It's mostly a line of sports cars and military vehicles and big trucks, with the bugs and dinosaurs as a weird novelty item. It'd make more sense, to me, to get someone involved via one of the cool cars. Tigertracks would be a fine one, since there's a reissue and a Sunstreaker-colored Sideswipe's a pretty solid draw.

(I'm also in support of the idea of a "value items for new fans" article.)

Clay
2014-03-29, 06:32 PM
Then I thought about what was said here and tried to reflect on how much of it may actually be true, so I'd take a good look at what I was putting out and how I was conducting myself in the hobby and what I buy and like, to see if I could better myself if the situation required it before coming here and addressing what people have taken time to say.

I wouldn't take it quite to heart like that. You've got to understand that a lot of use have been posting together and interacting on this forum for ten years or more now, so if we come off as a group of grumpy curmudgeons... well, we might be, but I wouldn't consider it grounds for deep introspection. And keep in mind that we seldom achieve a unified consensus... if Cliffjumper, Warcry, and myself ever agree on a specific figure being the bee's knees, I'd buy a lottery ticket. :)

Case in point, I still say that the Alternator Mustang mold has wonderful and subtle juxtaposition of the arm assembly unfolding like a delicate flower in the morning light, creating a sharp contrast with the brawny proportions of both the robot and the car. Tom says it's crap. We get along fine.

TFSource have never told me what to write about, in fact I remember Curt moaning at me for featuring Transformers GT on 4 separate occasions because I was so in love with them as it wasn't reflective of what people were buying.

I remember those articles, and I remember the discussion they generated. We came up with the idea of Hasbro just licensing the Impala for Nascar cars and creating six or seven different molds that turn into robots in different ways, but all reverting back to the same vehicle form in different sponsor decos would be a better way to tackle a race set. I still like that idea.

Where do you see the justification for spending on rare variants in the 5 parts, specifically? If you can give me a concrete example maybe I can reflect on it, maybe give you some extra insight as I know all the contributors quite well and hopefully dispel the idea that this is what's going on, possibly allowing you to appreciate the choices for what they were meant to be, instead of seeing them in a negative light based on some personal collector agenda.

I meant that as a more general statement, but specifically? I really, really should have struck 'rare variant' from my criticism and substituted it with 'expensive', but out of the list (excluding 3rd party stuff)

Pre-TF: Pteranodon (Diaclone Swoop)
RiD/CR: Super Fire Convoy/Optimus Prime
Generation 2: Dreadwing/Smokescreen
Classics/Gen etc: RTS Lugnut
Animated: Deluxe Prowl
DOTM: Leader Ironhide
G1 84 to 86: Devastator
Masterpiece: MP-1 Convoy
Alt/BT: BT-08 Zoom Zoom
G1 87 to 90: Countdown
Armada: Starscream
JP Exclusive G1: God Ginrai
SCF/PVC: Seeker mould
ROTF: Leader Prime
TF Prime: Wheeljack
Late Euro G1: Thunderclash

I would probably include RTS Lugnut, which was incredibly difficult to find, Countdown because of the number of parts, and maybe the ROTF Leader Prime due to its secondary market price now and that exited shelves in favor of Megatron and Jetfire then due to the forced wave distribution system Warcry already described.

Again, I select these as examples based on the thesis of the articles that says “What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”.

That bit about the non-collector... that's the rub! That basically excludes anything with a triple-digit price, and an overwhelming majority of toys in a double digit price. The selection of Prowl for Animated and Wheeljack for Prime? That I understand and can endorse. Small, simple, efficient, easily available... that's a good ambassador for the Animated and Prime lines. Picking ROTF Leader Prime, as complicated as it is (it gives me trouble!), as an entry-level figure to entice someone into collecting? I have strong reservations about that... I think that figure could just as easily dissuade people from collecting these things as it would intrigue them.

In addition, a lot of the toys from what I can see were available at retail within the time that most of us have been adult collectors. If those are now out of circulation and have appreciated a little on the second hand market, I just simply cannot put the choices down to elitism as a result, those are the toys that the contributors believed - with their justifications that I respect - that are the best ambassadors for those sub-set categories.

I think therein lies the problem... the scope of these articles is too wide. Finding representative ambassadors from various sub lines to appeal to people already collecting is one focus, and finding figures that would appeal to non-collectors is an entirely different focus.

For the former, I agree with Allen's choice of the red Meister for Binaltech. The Mazda mold cleans up a few problems the Subaru had with the addition of ratchet joints in the legs, and the red Meister is the cheapest metal version of the mold. However, it's a variant of a toy that was released ten years ago, and only in the Japanese market, so picking it to entice a non-collector? Wouldn't be my first choice since it's not 2004 anymore.

Isolating figures based on criteria of cheap, easily available, and awesome, the ambassador for the brand I'd pick is probably Prime Wheeljack, but even he has mostly gone from the shelves (I saw one in a Walgreen's recently, but none in big retailers for a year or more), so I'm unsure if even that's justified.

I've gone a bit mad on third party stuff over the last year myself, but don't particularly post about it, and that's partly because of not wanting to come off as showy.

Aye, I've got a large amount of them now but seldom post about them. I'm afraid the forum might stage an intervention. :o

Knightdramon
2014-03-29, 10:48 PM
I've got to say, across all of the forums that I posted these articles on, I was really saddened and quite shocked to see what an intensely negative, jaded and - in places - actually hurtful reaction I got here. There's been a few times over the weeks that I wanted to reply, but I didn't know how to, genuinely, and separate an emotional response from some factual things that may show some of the members here that they had the wrong impression about a series of things.

I quite honestly don't know where I stand with the above right now, but I do want to post some responses.

All the best
Maz

Allow me to say, sincerely and without any malice towards you, that you can't/don't take criticism or even negativity towards your articles. Kind of a similar reaction came out of you months ago on the Tigertrack article and my comments at the time; which again, weren't about the quality of the article, but about the subject. The TFArchive was/or has grown into a very small community of more-or less like-minded individuals, it's not like tfw2005 where you've got the brand new fans who buy everything, the middle ground, and the super-high end collectors. In a busier community you might get like 100 replies with 100 different enthusiastic reactions[or a mixed bag]. In these forums you get about 10 replies of people with more or less the exact same taste and expectations, so yeah, if a negative or mixed reaction chain reacts, it does seem worse than it really is.

In this instance [for these articles]I tried to be partial because I understood what you were going for, but I'd be lying if I said this doesn't read like a "writer's choice, best of each line" because "best of" and "ambassadors/representatives" are most of the times interchangeable in such circles.

Your know which of your more recent interview/articles I liked the most? That one guy with the totally random collection of average retail figures. Everybody else is like a different sub-set of high-end figures or rare japanese pieces in different set ups.

All the best brother, not being as negative or personal as you might be taking it ;) I've been reading your articles ever since BT06

Cliffjumper
2014-03-29, 11:52 PM
Maz, I'd also say you're taking things a mite personally. I like your articles even if I don't agree with them; however, I (and others) tend to use your topics here as merely a springboard for semi-related ramblings (which we do with basically every topic), which is probably a fair trade for advertising. And everyone here's moderately negative about anything that's not Swerve being nutty in MTMTE, and I'm negative about that as well.

The problem with this series, IMO, is that the people you've asked have largely picked their favourite figure from each subseries, not one which would serve as a hook for a new collector or is particularly representative of the line.

Skyquake87
2014-03-30, 08:56 AM
Pretty much what everyone else has said, Maz. Great articles, good knowledge and research on your sujects, but this one just didn't work for me. That is down to the individual choices people make, but these are all figures that are going to be out of reach for a lot of fans let alone someone new to the brand.

The most I have ever spent on a Transformers toy was $120 on A Korean Brave Max, and that included shipping. I like it, but I'm conscious that that was frankly a silly amount of money to spend on a toy and it does take the sheen off owning him a bit when I think I am actually a grown up with a job and bills to pay and a house to fix up.

...of course, I will never sell him! Partly to remind myself to keep cool. Its very easy to get carried away with collecting things, and then it becomes about collecting for collecting's sake. Which is why I loved the interview with that guy whom just has a collection of randoms. That's a much more sensible and level-headed approach and a better way of working at being an Ambassador.

Maz
2014-03-30, 05:17 PM
Thank you, all of you, for taking the time to reply in detail and clarify for me where you were coming from with your comments. I hope you believe me when I say I really appreciate it and have a better idea of what you all meant and the context of the collective responses.

I won't lie to you, criticism such as this does catch my attention in a very intense way, and if I feel something has been unfairly criticised, wrongly highlighted - and much moreso if it's the words of someone else and not my own in the articles - I'll say something and stand up for it. I'm not suggesting that what you guys have said in reply to me is any of the above, I just saw a lot of stereotyping and it seemed to be directed at the contributors and by association, myself, and I felt it was unjust so that's why I made my original reply.

Do you all feel it's necessary or welcome for me to post future articles here? If it is a small tight knit like-minded group that remains here and keeps it active, I guess you can in a way speak for this forum. I ask because if they do inspire you to talk about the subjects negatively, act as a springboard to air negative feelings you may have about certain aspects of the hobby (and some of them are opinions I do share incidentally), maybe it's better I don't shove them in your face here and just allow you guys to seek them out if you're interested in the content?

All the best
Maz

Warcry
2014-03-30, 05:20 PM
Do you all feel it's necessary or welcome for me to post future articles here?
Don't you dare stop! Even if we don't agree they're always a great read.

Knightdramon
2014-03-30, 06:45 PM
Personally, I'm all for them. I used to write lots of reviews for this site, and it seems that such articles are the next logical step in an evolutionary line I stepped down long ago.

To give you a better analogy of this forums...it's like that UK thread over at tfw2005. People jump from topic to topic even in the same thread and there's no malice around ;)

Skyquake87
2014-03-30, 07:03 PM
Yeah, I like the discussions they provoke. This one perhaps more than others though!;)

inflatable dalek
2014-03-30, 07:27 PM
They're always a fun read to me (and I don't think any of us are egotistic enough to think we speak for the people who just browse) so there shouldn't be an issue with carrying on.

I might suggest that, instead of having one thread for every article we have a sort of super-Maz thread (stickied possibly if there's enough interest?) every one goes in, with most pieces only generating a couple of comments it'd keep things a bit tidier and be more in keeping with how we promote our own site's updates (ie, we have one thread for all the top thrity characters and one for the Countdown to 30 stuff rather than one for every piece of writing).

Maz
2014-03-30, 07:30 PM
They're always a fun read to me (and I don't think any of us are egotistic enough to think we speak for the people who just browse) so there shouldn't be an issue with carrying on.

I might suggest that, instead of having one thread for every article we have a sort of super-Maz thread (stickied possibly if there's enough interest?) every one goes in, with most pieces only generating a couple of comments it'd keep things a bit tidier and be more in keeping with how we promote our own site's updates (ie, we have one thread for all the top thrity characters and one for the Countdown to 30 stuff rather than one for every piece of writing).

That's precisely how it was before, actually. I think Nevermore or Denyer created just such a thread for me in the past and I actually posted in it as recently as 2012 if memory serves. I always felt something like that promoted the person writing it more than the subject matter as members would only see the "Maz thread" updated instead of seeing the subject matter before opening the thread, but I'm all for it if everyone would prefer that. I'll happily stick to that format, I do the same think at the request of Griffin on the Ozformers forum.

All the best
Maz

inflatable dalek
2014-03-30, 07:38 PM
We could call it something less egocentric looking, "TF Source Articles Thread" maybe? Not hugely sexy, but does exactly what it says on the tin (rather than merging all the threads thus far it could just be started with the next one to go up).

The first post of a thread can be edited to put whatever the current featured article is into the title as well (ie: "TF Source Articles: Latest Update: Ambassadors Part 7" or whatever).

Clay
2014-03-30, 08:34 PM
Do you all feel it's necessary or welcome for me to post future articles here?

Well of course it is. I've always enjoyed them, even if I don't necessarily have something to say in reply. The string of articles about Diaclone variants especially fascinated me, but I don't know enough about them to comment.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-03-31, 05:48 AM
I too enjoy reading your articles, Maz. Like Clay, I really enjoy the articles you write about Diaclone, Joustra, etc. I know little about the history of the toys and the brands pre-TF, and would like to know more. For what it's worth, I think any topic where people are selecting "the best" of anything will spark impassioned debate and criticism just because that sort of choice is so incredibly subjective. For example, I personally wouldn't have chosen a lot of the Ambassadors in the recent/current series of articles. Others did. They're just as entitled to their opinion as me, and they should be applauded for giving their time to such a project.

Going forward, I'd really like to see more TF and pre-TF history articles. I think they have a lot of interest and are less subject to individual opinion. YMMV, of course.

Maz
2014-04-02, 12:01 AM
Ambassadors Part 6. You know the score by now, surely. Although I do think one thing bears repeating, our contributors that are picking their line, category, sub-category or era-specific ambassadors are not choosing one toy to represent the Transformers brand as a whole, or to turn a complete non-collector into a collector. Rather, they are choosing a toy from a particular area of Transformers to promote that area’s qualities, charm and character – as well as highlighting its shortcomings – to those of us who have never sampled that line, that category, that era. The contributors have admittedly set their own parameters on occasion, but the key thing here is we can enjoy the enthusiasm and justification of other collectors while being comfortable with the fact that our own choices would have been different. This week’s topics are Beast Wars, Cybertron, reissue exclusives and Transformers watches.

Our question, as before, was: ‘‘What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector (and yes, I see where the confusion has arisen from) in order to sell the line?”. So, in no particular order…

Ambassadors – Part 6 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-6/) <- CLICK TO READ

I added my own choices for last week's Part 5 and this week's Part 6 categories on Square One Square One: Ambassadors Part 6 - and my picks for Parts 5 and 6 (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/ambassadors-part-6-and-my-picks-for.html)

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/xambf01.jpg

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/xambf11.jpg

With thanks to:
- Fighbird
- The Last Autobot
- Specimen17
- Brr-Icy
- Ras
- TheSpacebridge

Part 1 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-1/)

Part 2 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-2/)

Part 3 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-3/)

Part 4 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 4 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-4/)

Part 5 can be found here:
Ambassadors – Part 5 | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/ambassadors-part-5/)

All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2014-04-02, 11:23 AM
Yay for the l'il watch guys getting some love. I must have owned three or four of these when I was little (they were a common bootleg on the Spanish markets I used to frequent as a child). Not seen the Calculator dude before, he looks cool.

Also read your article on the watch bots too Maz. The scorpion dude looks cool. Just wondered if you factored in the likelihood of the batteries having long since corroding and effectively devaluing the thing. I bought Axer and Sideways (RiD Laser Cycle repaints) 'mint in box' a year or two ago and the batteries had similarly turned to a horrible fuzzy mess that had gummed up the insides, so often wonder if other folks factor these sorts of things in when buying MIB toys with batteries included. This also affects comic books sold in the '90s that came pre-bagged with a trading card or poster - the acids in the bag would eventually destroy the comic making it a strangely worthless 'mint' copy. A puzzling conundrum!

Also nice to see the E-Hobby Minibots getting some love. Again, a costly purchase these days (around $100 - $200) which the article does make clear, but would agree that they're probably the nicest and most fun of the E-Hobby recolours. Although I always thought it a shame that Bug Bite didn't retain Bumblebee's original face. Not a fan of the gormless lobotomy patient of the 'Anime Face'.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-04-02, 12:30 PM
Surely the answer to this topic is simply G1 Crosscut? ;)

another tf fan
2014-04-02, 05:24 PM
The artwork for the watch robot is freaking awesome

Maz
2014-04-04, 11:32 PM
It's been a decade since the origin of the Finnish Diaclone Black Tracks was finally revealed and discovered by the community outside Finland, but even then pictures and stories about it existed for years before, so it wasn't a surprise.

Has there been anything discovered since that was based on established early vintage Generation 1 figures, but completely different? One example that comes to mind is the Japanese Diaclone "Black Sideswipe", that was actually all black, not like Deepcover. Again, another Diaclone example, but quite groundbreaking...although not to anyone who wasn't a G1 car or Diaclone aficionado. And it was still a black Countach, not that new.

This may not be quite as big as those two official releases, but it is good, and it will surprise. For something to make my jaw drop simply because it has gone undiscovered for so long is rare and hugely welcomed. There can't be too many of these moments left in this hobby.

Spanish KO Minibots Overview (http://www.tf-1.com/articles/mini_frame.php?art=spanish) <- CLICK TO READ

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5DEt36WwWcc/UziZ__ML6wI/AAAAAAAABFY/S28NlzZBNdM/s1600/AllGisima04.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ic2WugkF2bU/UziZ-yDXbEI/AAAAAAAABFM/Q-Vk4iNz5KM/s1600/AllGisima02.jpg

This article collects together all the "Big Reveal" chapters from my Square One blog:

Square One: A Big Reveal......is coming (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-big-revealis-coming.html)
Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 1) (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-big-reveal-part-1.html)
Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 2) (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-big-reveal-part-2.html)
Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 3) (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-big-reveal-part-3.html)
Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 4) (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-big-reveal-part-4.html)
Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 5) (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-big-reveal-part-5.html)
Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 6) (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-big-reveal-part-6.html)
Square One: A Big Reveal (Finale) (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/a-big-reveal-finale.html)

All the best
Maz

Skyquake87
2014-04-05, 07:41 PM
Heh, reading about those Spanish bootlegs reminds of the mass of bootlegs I acquired from Spanish markets in the 1980s...a blue, red and chrome Bombshell, various Bootlegged Gobots, a small Robotech (Jetfire) toy...allsorts of randoms.

I'm surprised these knock offs have captured your imagination as much as they have. They're not actually much better than the sort of bootleg Transformers Birmingham's own Funtastic churn out for Pounstretcher, IMO. They're the sort of thing that to me, are and amusing diversion and nothing more. Which is just as well given the cruddy plastics these things are usually made out of :)

Warcry
2014-04-06, 04:54 AM
This was awesome. :up: I don't know why, but weird vintage stuff always gives me a silly grin. Probably because it's the sort of stuff I'd have loved as a little kid.

Denyer
2014-04-06, 03:38 PM
The oversized primary colour cassettes are really bad quality... although I saw a Slugfest one recently (online) and was tempted... it was actually green versus the randomness of these...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Transformers-Ratbat-Steeljaw-Ramhorn-Slugfest-KO-Oversized-Cassette-lot-G1-style-/271445232426?pt=US_Action_Figures&hash=item3f33658b2a

Vector Prime deserves a deluxe-class redo with some articulation.

Maz
2014-04-07, 11:03 AM
We could call it something less egocentric looking, "TF Source Articles Thread" maybe? Not hugely sexy, but does exactly what it says on the tin (rather than merging all the threads thus far it could just be started with the next one to go up).

The first post of a thread can be edited to put whatever the current featured article is into the title as well (ie: "TF Source Articles: Latest Update: Ambassadors Part 7" or whatever).

How does "TFSource / TF-1 Articles" sound? It removes my name from it and covers both the weekly articles for Source as well as the stuff I do for my own website and blog.

For example I could - with your blessing - put the reasonably interesting posts from my blog here. With those I do tend to entirely focus it on what I like myself, and anyone else who takes an interest is a bonus - so yeah there's a fair bit of Diaclone content on there but also the odd post about how my daughter's collection. As a result, I don't promote those on forums as much at all.

Yay for the l'il watch guys getting some love. I must have owned three or four of these when I was little (they were a common bootleg on the Spanish markets I used to frequent as a child). Not seen the Calculator dude before, he looks cool.

Also read your article on the watch bots too Maz. The scorpion dude looks cool. Just wondered if you factored in the likelihood of the batteries having long since corroding and effectively devaluing the thing.

Yeah absolutely, man. Even the Joustra Watch robo I unsealed and wore like a dork for months had issues with the battery connection. The Scorpion watch on that yellow backing is quite rare though as only the only-ever-seen-it-once-in-15-years Joustra version and also the slightly more common Kronoform version come packaged on that, so it was a case of take what you can get! I nabbed a Krono version, took it out of the battered Kronoform packaging and put it with my Joustra. I wouldn't be completely disappointed if, say, one day the glue dried and I got to take it out ;)

Also nice to see the E-Hobby Minibots getting some love. Again, a costly purchase these days (around $100 - $200) which the article does make clear, but would agree that they're probably the nicest and most fun of the E-Hobby recolours. Although I always thought it a shame that Bug Bite didn't retain Bumblebee's original face. Not a fan of the gormless lobotomy patient of the 'Anime Face'.

:lol:


Surely the answer to this topic is simply G1 Crosscut? ;)

Ooh, nice one ;)



I'm surprised these knock offs have captured your imagination as much as they have. They're not actually much better than the sort of bootleg Transformers Birmingham's own Funtastic churn out for Pounstretcher, IMO. They're the sort of thing that to me, are and amusing diversion and nothing more. Which is just as well given the cruddy plastics these things are usually made out of :)

It's just one of those things, very typical to those like me who are variant lovers. There are certain sub-sets of G1 where the KOs are exactly as you say, ghastly recolours of lower quality that chill to the bone, and other categories like G1 cars, G1 minibots and G1 jets where collectors seem to happily add any correctly-scaled colour or moulding variant from official and unofficial lines to the ranks. Those Four Star F-15s when complete have been known to sell for upwards of $200, especially the grey one (four hundred dollars the last one I saw!!)

There's also seemingly a distinction in desirability between modern day counterfeits and KOs of the above categories and vintage KOs, the latter being more popular and sought after. As a rule, minibot collectors on the surface bemoan the fact that there are so many different ones to find, almost all exceedingly difficult, and underneath love the fact that there's always more to see and discover.

These Spanish ones are actually really nice in hand, the Windchargers especially are beautiful, I think.

All the best
Maz

inflatable dalek
2014-04-07, 02:48 PM
How does "TFSource / TF-1 Articles" sound? It removes my name from it and covers both the weekly articles for Source as well as the stuff I do for my own website and blog.

For example I could - with your blessing - put the reasonably interesting posts from my blog here. With those I do tend to entirely focus it on what I like myself, and anyone else who takes an interest is a bonus - so yeah there's a fair bit of Diaclone content on there but also the odd post about how my daughter's collection. As a result, I don't promote those on forums as much at all.

Sounds good to me, and do feel free to share whatever you think is of interest.

Maz
2014-04-08, 12:15 AM
So much for not writing article-length stuff for my blog, once I got started on this I couldn't stop. There were so many pictures and bits of info I'd wanted to put together for years and the result is a halfway-house between a very detailed blog post with good photos and the article I've always wanted to write. I ended up not including pictures of the prototype Powered Convoy, mock-up pics or detailed photos of all the other rare versions (Ceji Joustra, PCDX giftset). I'll save those for a TF-1 article one day. Anyway, hope you enjoy it:


Square One: Diaclone "Powered Convoy" (http://tfsquareone.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/diaclone-powered-convoy.html) (click me)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UqAdBIrKqVg/U0MQEYhOXaI/AAAAAAAABVE/MEu7ggfVTMA/s1600/PC08.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nXtosxW6TNc/U0MQAp-n08I/AAAAAAAABUU/4Xye3o62V8w/s1600/PC02.jpg

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2014-04-08, 10:25 PM
The reissue colours work better than the darker blue IMO.

Shame it wouldn't have been much extra effort to give the original mould a waist rather than the body being straight up. The LEGO-like approach completely enclosing the classic cab (and the MTMTE Russian doll effect) does give more appreciation for the Fansproject kit, though. Have recently snagged a Classics Magnus and have a KO kit on the way.

Maz
2014-04-08, 10:35 PM
If you’ve ever been in the business of selling items from your Transformers collection, chances are it was for a good reason. When action such as that is properly justified, it can be lived with and we move on, waiting for a point in the future where any regrettable sales can be undone. I know personally I have sold to raise money for other purchases, because of shifting interests and because sometimes I had to. This week I look at some of the figures that, given the financial comfort and opportunity, I would like to buy back.

Buy-Back | Source Blog (http://tfsource.com/blog/buy-back/) <- CLICK TO READ

http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/9243970196_6c93b8b5f6_k.jpg

All the best
Maz

Denyer
2014-04-08, 11:36 PM
If for whatever reason they got bootlegged well or lots turned up, I'd get various European Actionmasters I had as a kid again... but for the prices a complete Bombshell fetches, for example? Nah. Poor value, lots of interesting third party stuff way ahead. The same with a "name" later character such as Bludgeon... still a decent enough toy, but the ROTF one with some extras fills that collection spot far better. I try not to duplicate characters much.