Sunday, 27 September 2015

Chicago Holiday Haul

We got back from our holiday to Chicago first thing yesterday morning and, after a long (albeit interrupted at about 1am) night's sleep, I'm already feeling a lot better than I did after getting back from last year's holiday to LA. I'm actually pretty glad that we passed on BotCon this year as, aside from the amenities of the venue, we wouldn't have been able to see or do much from the Pheasant Run Resort, whereas staying in town (an apartment at DeWitt Place) gave us great access to the entire city via Chicago's fine public transport system of trains and buses (much like London's only far cheaper (fares of $2 or $2.50 using a Ventra card - which is like our Oyster - versus, for example, £4.70 ($7+) each way for my journey to/from work using an Oyster, or £5.80 cash (almost $9) each way for the same journey!), cleaner and only slightly less frequent).

Courtney and I got up to quite a bit in our short visit, and while we came back with quite a few souvenirs and gifts, I didn't actually buy any TransFormers as neither of us felt like wasting too much time on shopping (except in museum gift shops, for example).

So... This is a bit of a silly, pointless post...

Other than the PSA about comparative public transport in Chicago and London.


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.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Combiner Wars Skydive

I can still remember being distinctly unimpressed by the G1 Aerialbots. They were small and awkward-looking, terribly basic, even by G1 standards, and not even as well-designed as the G1 Stunticons... With Combiner Wars remaking all the limb-bots as contemporary Deluxe class figures, it was tempting to hope that the new Aerialbots would take on board the lessons of the many Third Party gestalts doing the rounds...

But this is a creation of Hasbro, and they've been in full-on cost-cutting mode for ages... so it's bound to be a disaster, right?

Saturday, 12 September 2015

DotM Hatchet

Hasbro can make some pretty bizarre choices when it comes to turning 'characters' (and I use the term loosely) from the live action TransFormers movies into toys. Or not turning them into toys. Dark of the Moon featured a plethora of Decepticon troops being brought down from the moon which, you'd have thought, would give them the perfect opportunity to extend the toyline exactly the way they did with the first live action movie... Only by this point, they were already cutting costs, so even some of the 'named' movie bots only came out in one size class and others didn't come out at all.

So, in the movie, the three 'Dreads' - Crankcase, Crowbar and Hatchet - transformed into identical police SUVs. For the toyline, we got a Deluxe class Crankcase, Cyberverse Legion class versions of both Crankcase and Crowbar... and then a Cyberverse Commander class Hatchet, and it was nothing like the character's appearance in the movie...

Friday, 4 September 2015

TransFormers Collectors' Club OTFCC 2003 Shadow Striker & Roulette

(Femme-Bot Friday #30)
Something a bit special for this one - call it a 'Thrilling 30th' of my own, to celebrate passing the 3,000 pageviews in month milestone in August 2015.

Proving that Femme-Bot toys aren't such a new thing after all, the Official TransFormers Collectors' Convention (not BotCon) 2003 accompanied its RiD/Car Robots reimaginings of Sunstreaker and Sideswipe with another pair of siblings. Not only were they Femme-Bots, but they were original characters, created for 3H Productions' expanded Universe line.

Like much of RiD/Car Robots, I wasn't especially keen on these to begin with. Since starting this Femme-Bot Friday feature, I've been picking up a few figures that I may otherwise have skipped. I've been repeatedly put off by some rather high secondary market prices (often pushing £100 - normally, but not always, including shipping), so when I found this boxed pair in the display cabinets of Orbital Comics, priced at a much more bearable £60, I decided to treat myself.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

TransFormers: Prime Rumble

If the first live action movie was notable for its plethora of toys created from either otherwise unused concept art and designs from the associated videogame, it certainly wasn't unique in doing so. Granted, a lot of new 'characters' have been simple repaints of existing toys (with remolded parts in some cases, like TF Prime Hot Shot) but there have been occasions where an entirely new character has been created with no obvious explanation.

Considering how small the character roster in TF Prime actually was (fewer than ten individuals on each side!), it's both surprising and disappointing that Hasbro didn't add more toys into the mix, but one of the few wholly unique characters they did bring in was a complete re-imagining of one of G1 Soundwave's minions, Rumble

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