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Maz
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TFSource / TF-1 Articles

Post by Maz » Tue Jun 18, 2013 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 <- CLICK TO READ

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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Jun 18, 2013 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?

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Post by Skyquake87 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:56 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! :)

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Post by ganon578 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:10 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.
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Post by Maz » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:20 pm

Cliffjumper wrote: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 :)
Skyquake87 wrote: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.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:03 pm

Maz wrote: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.

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Post by Maz » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:10 am

Cliffjumper wrote: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

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Transformers GT - Part 2

Post by Maz » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:51 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 <- CLICK TO READ

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Post by Denyer » Fri Jun 28, 2013 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?

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Binaltech and Masterpiece: 10 Years Ago - TFSource Article

Post by Maz » Tue Jul 16, 2013 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 <- CLICK TO READ

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

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Euro G1 MB Laserbeak article by Mijo

Post by Maz » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:06 pm

This picture alone should be enough to capture your imagination....

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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

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Post by Denyer » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:28 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.

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Post by Denyer » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:40 pm

Always strikes as bizarre that it is/was economically worthwhile to repackage toys.

Neat site!

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Post by Cyberstrike nTo » Wed Jul 17, 2013 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.
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Post by Warcry » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:50 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.
Denyer wrote: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.
Denyer wrote: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.

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Post by Clay » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:50 am

Denyer wrote:
Doesn't feel like ten years.
Time is accelerating.

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Post by Knightdramon » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:58 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:
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Who Is Tigertrack? - Part 1 (TFSource Article)

Post by Maz » Tue Jul 23, 2013 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 <- CLICK TO READ

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Who Is Tigertrack? - Part 2

Post by Maz » Tue Jul 30, 2013 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 <- CLICK TO READ

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Post by Knightdramon » Tue Jul 30, 2013 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 ;)
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