Monday, 21 September 2015

Seventh Anniversary

It really doesn't seem like seven years ago today that I started this humble blog, largely as a substitute for the crummy HTML tables, tiny photos and startlingly brief write-ups which had once appeared as a subsection of my personal website (which, these days, is nothing more than a portal to my other online activities). Back then, the 'plan' was simple: more complete write-ups of each toy, along with multiple, full-sized photographs, tagged for easy filing. While I was already back into buying TransFormers, I honestly could not have guessed how far the blog would go, and how much of an uphill struggle it would be to keep it updated.

Then again, setting up over 100 drafts, just to use the photos uploaded to one particular Photobucket account was probably not the wisest move on my part... but, you live and learn.

Anyway. To celebrate this momentous occasion (and absolutely not because I still feel somewhat stupid for not marking any anniversaries until the fifth, or because last year's anniversary post really doesn't count, or because I'm away on holiday this week and wanted at least one post to go up) I wanted to do something potentially repeatable, rather than just "three firsts plus something random". Several options presented themselves:
  • 15 for 2015 - seems like a lot of work, considering how rarely I find enough time to work on a single post. Finding time to write about fifteen toys in one post is rather too daunting...
  • 10 Shots, 10 Bots - turned up on YouTube after this year's AutoAssembly. My girlfriend advised me against this one
  • 7 Bots for 7 Years - sounds just about right, as the increase should be manageable for the next few years, at least.
So, without further ado... Here's a list of seven models from my collection, all of which I've bought this year, and a few notes on each...

1. Hasbro Combiner Wars Superion/Aerialbots
I never had any of the G1 Aerialbots, so I was quite keen to get my hands on all of the
Combiner Wars versions. I'm not even that fussed about completing the 'proper' set by
acquiring 'Quickslinger' since it's just a repaint of Firefly with a new head.
Superion ends up looking great in stock form, arguably better than CW Defensor,
but both are even better with the Perfect Effect upgrade set.
2. Mastermind Creations Knight Morpher KM-05 Screecher
Based on Guido Guidi's phenomenal concept for a Steampunk Seeker(aka 'Batscream')
this mold is as brilliant as it is intricate, with incredible molded detail, some 'Mech Alive'-style
geared features and a great set of weapons. I now have all three mass-released figures,
thanks to my Seeker OCD
3. Mastermind Creations Reformatted R-08 Azalea
A models so cool, I now own five versions of it, two of which were event exclusives.
I may even end up buying the final iteration, Eupatorium (aka Elita-1), it really is that good.
This version could have used a bit more variety in its paintwork, even as an Arcee homage,
but the others (Eupatorium aside) are very well done.
4. Takara Tomy TransFormers Legends Arcee
It only took 30 years, but Arcee finally made it into the mainstream toyline, and looked great.
The Takara Tomy version was naturally superior in appearance to Hasbro's but the molding
of the hands was a bit of a sticking point.
5. San Diego Comic Con 2015 Combiner Hunters boxed set
Featuring all-new paint jobs for Windblade, Chromia and Arcee, along with ginormous
weapons, this complemented the SDCC2015 Devastator set. Had to get this, regardless
of the import premium, and wasn't disappointed!
6. BotCon 2011 (Timelines) Shattered Glass Galvatron
While Shattered Glass Megatron was good, this was better. An inspired repaint of one of
the few really good TF Helicopter molds. Shame they didn't replace his hook with
something a bit more 'Galvatron-y'
7. BotCon 2001 TransMetals Arcee
A weird repaint of an utterly bizarre mold, but pretty cool and almost beautiful in is own way.
The box features a notorious light-activated voicebox with an audio clip of G1 Arcee's
voice actor, Susan Blu.

Perhaps I shouldn't include Third Party stuff on the list but, frankly, much of the Third Party stuff is so far beyond anything Hasbro or Takara Tomy are able to produce within their budgets and parts counts, it's well worth the premium price and frequently does better justice to Hasbro's characters than anything that will come out at regular retail.

It hasn't escaped my attention that there are four whole iterations of Arcee in this list, but that's probably a symptom of my creation of 'Femme-Bot Friday', and the fact that she's a pretty important character in TransFormers lore. Hopefully next year, I'll come up with a list with a bit more variety...

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