Sunday, 14 March 2010

Progress update...

As of this morning, I've photographed my entire Galaxy Force/Cybertron collection.

As far as I can tell, this leaves Armada (bar Scourge), the smaller RiD models, then miscellaneous bits and bobs such as Mini-Cons (still need to decide whether I'm doing them individually or by team), E-Hobby Exclusives (most of which I can probably do today) and a few more of my customs.

Wow. That's several hundred TransFormer toys photographed, versus 31 blogged.

I really need to get a move on...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Generation 1 Mirage Knockoff

Knockoffs, by and large, have a bad reputation - poor plastic quality, reduced articulation, psychedelic paint jobs, stickers that don't - but, once in a while, a knockoff comes along that's virtually indistinguishable from the original. Such occurrences are made all the sweeter when the original in question is almost impossible to find intact.

G1 Mirage had a weak plastic waist joint that frequently broke, leaving two halves of an otherwise excellent TransFormers toy. This may or may not have had any bearing on Takara's decision not to reissue Mirage in the 20th Anniversary TF Collection line. These days, finding two halves of Mirage probably isn't too difficult... nor is the fix to get him back together... but the fact remains that a whole Mirage is better than two halves fixed with nuts, bolts and washers.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Kingdam 05 Robogun Browning M1920

I normally do my best to avoid knockoffs, not least because, when I've gone ahead and bought one, it's been hugely overpriced and terrible quality. Even so, once in a while, one does come along that I take an instant fancy to, and the idea of avoiding knockoffs because they've overpriced and terrible quality suddenly drops out of my mind.

So it's my own fault, really isn't it?

This little item turned up at Memorabilia some years ago, looking like it would probably be a huge waste of money (I shan't mention how much, but I certainly paid over the odds)... but it's a knockoff of the pre-TransFormers Browning. Alongside what later became G1 Megatron, there was the Browning and - believe it or not - a Colt 45 revolver. Both were eventually release as TransFormers in Japan, but only the Walther P38 got a release in the US and UK.

I briefly considered the likelihood of ever finding a genuine Browning, then how much such a thing would inevitably cost... And then forked out for the knockoff.

And, in fact, it's about as good quality as I would have expected the genuine article to be, just missing some chrome on the weapons.

TransFormers Collection #21 - Broadcast & Steeljaw

Another of Generation 1's MIAs, Blaster got a US release, but never came to the UK. While it was understandable with the likes of Perceptor, it was strange, disappointing and downright annoying that Blaster didn't get an official UK release - he was basically Soundwave's counterpart, and played quite a major role in many of the Marvel UK comics.

That said, while Soundwave had a fairly subdued and complementary colourscheme, Blaster's seems to have been decided upon by a five year old, and was designed to fit his robot mode at the expense of his alternate mode.

TransFormers Collection #19 - Perceptor

The sad fact about Generation 1 is that, while it was mostly based on existing molds from Takara's Diaclone and Microchange lines, some of the toys never made it over to the UK, even if they were released in the US. Perceptor is one such model. In many ways, you have to wonder about the thinking behind bringing Perceptor into the TransFormers brand - sure, he transforms... but into a microscope (and, loosely speaking, into a kind of tank thing). Great disguise, certainly, and one that was re-used for Scalpel (aka The Doctor) in Revenge of the Fallen... but in a line of toys that transform from robots into cars, planes, etc, Perceptor stands out as something quite irregular.

Naturally, Soundwave also originated from the Microchange line, as did Blaster... but they worked somehow... A Microscope just seems incongruous.

As a character, Perceptor was fond of big words. His big moment in the animated movie came when, having seen the Decepticon forces approaching Autobot City, he announced "A cursory evaluation of Decepticon capabilities indicates a distinct tactical deficiency," quickly translated by Springer to "We're outnumbered." You could almost see him getting on very well with Shockwave, in other circumstances.

TransFormers Collection #14 - Hound

Of all the Autobots in the Generation 1 cartoon, Hound was the one I found most charismatic, right from the pilot episode, Arrival from Cybertron/More Than Meets The Eye. While the rest of the Autobots worked toward finding a way home, Hound fell in love with the landscapes of Earth, and nurtured a desire to be human. He also had no qualms about going head to head with the Decepticons, facing off against Rumble underwater and - embarrassingly - needing Spike's help against the diminutive troublemaker.

Much as I like this model, I was pleased when Hound got the Classics/Universe 2.0 refit. The new model takes everything that was cool about Hound, everything that defined his appearance (such as his massive feet), and brought it bang up to date, improving it in almost every way.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

TransFormers Collection #11 - Astrotrain

While every other reissue I've picked up is to supplement a lack in my original G1 collection, I felt compelled to buy this reissue, even though I own an original, for two reasons:
  • My original has exceptionally weak legs, and can't stand
  • This one has a far superior colourscheme in both modes

There's also the fact that it comes in the usual (excellent) TFC presentation box with Filofax pages...

While actually quite basic, these packages were always very effective - it must be be amazing to have the full set lined up on a bookshelf. I only have four of these and a further six in the US/UK packaging, which was styled after the original G1 packaging, but in a box similar to these. Of course, in many instances, the US/UK versions were cut-down or in some way different (read: inferior) to the Japanese reissues. Most of the time it was just lost chrome (one of my favourite things about the original G1 toys - chromed weapons looked brilliant!), but sometimes the overall paint job seemed somehow lacking.