Archive

Archive for February 1st, 2018

Broken Toys! 10 of My Damaged Transformers

February 1st, 2018 No comments

I have a lot of Transformers. I do play with them, and I try to be as careful as I can be when transforming them. But when you have as many as I do, you’re bound to break some. Occasionally the figures come broken (yes this has happened). Sometimes an inherent flaw in manufacturing or design lends the figure to breaking after only a few play.

Below are 10 of the figures from my collection where something has occurred to render them less than perfect. My heart breaks every time one of my Transformers breaks. Read on and see if you have mishandled any of these 10.
 

Brawl (Leader Class)
Series: Movie (2007)
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Ground Assault
Mode in Package: Robot
Known Redecos: Movie Deep Desert Brawl
Status: Returned to store; got replacement

The Figure:
Movie Leader Class Brawl is one of only few Leader Class figures I have from the entire Movie-verse. I highly recommend him. The robot mode is decent, but the tank mode is where this figure truly shines. He also has working lights and sounds, if that’s your thing.

The Incident:
First time I purchased this figure was from Toys R Us, and he was already broken out of the box. I documented this already, back in this post. There was a peg that came broken. It’s been more than 10 years now, so I don’t remember exactly which peg. But I think it was on the turret.

The Aftermath: I quickly returned Brawl to Toys R Us. I would have simply asked for a exchange, if they only had more of the figure. Since they didn’t, I asked for a refund and then bought it again on Amazon. And for cheaper too – looking up my old Amazon records, I re-purchased him for only $31.99! Can’t imagine getting a Leader Class figure for that price nowadays.
 

Samurai Prowl (Deluxe Class)
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Spy
Mode in Package: Motorcycle with Sidecar
Known Redecos: none
Status: Returned to store; no replacement

The Figure:
Samurai Prowl is one of the hardest figures to find from the Animated line. I was super thrilled when I found one on pure happenstance. He appeared on a TRU shelf when the TFA line of toys was officially over. I documented that purchase here and a review here.

The Incident:
I outlined how I damaged the toy in the review. Specifically, the connection between the motorcycle and the side car is broken. The whole thing happened in such a way that I didn’t even notice it when the breakage occurred. I have must broken it on the first transform from alt mode to robot mode, because I saw the breakage on the reverse transformation. I’m forced to think that connection must have been super brittle. However I haven’t seen any other documented cases of this, so it’s possible I was being too rough. Though that’s not like me at all – when it comes to my TFs I’m usually careful to a fault.

The Aftermath:
I wasn’t happy about the breakage at the time, and I don’t feel any better about it now. I returned the figure to TRU, because perhaps the TF OCD in me can’t stand to have broken figures in my collection. But like I said, this figure is hard to find. I only saw him one other time. It was at the dealer’s room at a BotCon. The dealer wanted $40 for it, and no way was I gonna pay that. Sad to say, I never saw the figure in store again. Checking on Amazon just now, the lowest price is around $100. In retrospect, maybe I should have just hung on to my broken Samurai Prowl, or spent the $40 at BotCon for another one.
 

Bumblebee (Deluxe Class)
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Speedster
Mode in Package: Car
Known Redecos: Elite Guard Bumblebee, Jetpack Bumblebee
Status: Damaged; got replacement

The Figure:
From one TFA figure we go to another. I got TFA Deluxe Bumblebee in a pack of 15 figures I bought used on Cragislist, something that I documented here. TFA figures as a whole don’t have the best construction. They often feel like cheap plastic cobbled together into a toy by ill-fitting ball joints. Bumblebee is a prime example of this. The alt mode cockpit pieces that form the back of the legs are connected by ball joints. One of them is too loose, and keeps coming off.

The Incident:
I tried to fix said loose joint by applying some nail polish to the socket. Unfortunately, I applied too much and now the ball won’t go in at all. So I guess you could say I broke this by trying to fix it.

The Aftermath:
I tried to buy another Bumblebee in store, but by then the Animated line was officially over. Online retailers were all charging a markup. Bumblebee is a mediocre figure at best, so I’m not paying markup for such a figure. Fortunately for me, I was able to get a Japanese version of this figure at a pretty good price, way less than whatever the MSRP was. That purchase was outlined here. The Japanese version is better anyway, with shiny chrome paint and slightly better construction. This is the figure that represents my Bumblebee in my TFA line. As for the “broken” Bumblebee, I keep him around for spare parts. He has come in handy, which brings me to my next entry…
 

Megatron (Voyager Class)
Series: Transformers United
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Decepticon Leader
Mode in Package: Robot
Known Redecos: Classics Megatron, Henkei Megatron
Status: Repaired

The Figure:
I am still not sure what exactly is Transformers United. It was a Japanese only line. As far as I can tell, Takara took a bunch of Henkei figures, repainted them, and released this United line. There was no US equivalent. Anyways, Classics Megatron was one of the first 6 figures produced in the Classics line. The line is significant in that it started an update of classic G1 characters in modern forms while still capturing the G1 spirit. As a figure, the design of Classics Megatron is questionable. He does transform into a gun, which all G1-ers love. But Classics Megatron fits the very definition of shell-former (think G1 Scourge). Also, his alt mode kinda looks like a futuristic Cybertron pistol at best, and a toy water gun at worst. The Classics colors also don’t help matters, and even I have to agree that the US version of the figure used some kid friendly colors that made Megatron look like a Nerf toy gun. And so I wanted a more G1 accurate version of this figure. I was at BotCon 2011, and saw a dealer selling the United version of this figure at a reasonable price. So I bought it.

The Incident:
I’m not in the habit of opening my toys at the convention. After I got home, I find that something is wrong with the transformation. I can’t get the waist to properly align correctly for alt mode. Upon closer inspection, I see that a part in the waist is installed backwards! The whole thing is assembled with a screw, so all you really had to do is unscrew the assembly, re-position the part, and re-screw. However, it took me sometime to figure all this out. And by the time I did, I totally mangled the head of the screw. Fortunately I got the screw out, but there was no way it could be used again.

The Aftermath:
In the last entry I mentioned I use TFA Bumblebee for spare parts, and he has a screw that kinda fits into United Megatron. I now use that screw to secure this part of Megatron’s waist. The part in question is only visible during transformation. The fit with Bumblebee’s screw is not perfect. Rotation of the part using this screw is quite loose. However, the loose rotation is only apparent during transformation. And the waist as a whole has other parts that lock it into place in both alt and robot modes. So I’m ok with this fix. I have made peace with the fact that my United Megatron is not perfect, but functional (que “I still function” from the G1 Movie).
 

Darksteel (Deluxe Class)
Series: Dark of the Moon
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: ???
Mode in Package: Sports Car
Known Redecos: DotM Sideswipe
Status: Damaged; got replacement

The Figure:
Dark of the Moon Darksteel is not a character in the movie. I’m not sure if he has an appearance anywhere. Darksteel is another quick cash grab off an existing mold, in this case Sideswipe from the same movie. In all honesty, this mold is pretty cool. The redeco colors chosen for Darksteel is smashingly striking, and he does have a unique head mold that differentiate him from Sideswipe. I bought one when the figure was first released. I transformed him from alt mode to robot mode no problem.

The Incident:
Some months later I decided to transform him back to alt mode. It was late a night and I guess I was a bit too careless. Long story short, I bent one of the feet pieces the wrong way and broke it. I have transformed Sideswipe many times so I thought I knew the process, but I will admit that I don’t remember how TFs transform as well as I used to.

The Aftermath:
Some months after the first breakage, I went to shop at Kohls because they mailed me a $10 certificate, good for anything in the store. Most people don’t know this, but Kohls also has a toy section. Occasionally they will have Transformers. Anyways, on this particular trip, I find that they had Darksteel. They were already having a 10% off sale. And with the $10 certificate, the final price of Darksteel came to only $3.90. I documented that purchase here. To this day, I still have this 2nd copy of Darksteel mint in the package. I’ll probably keep this unopened. He’s not worth so much now, but maybe one day.
 

Optimus Prime (Voyager Class)
Series: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Leader
Mode in Package: Robot
Known Redecos: Beast Hunters Optimus Prime (with extra green armor)
Status: Attempting repairs; got replacements

The Figure:
You didn’t think I was gonna get through this list without having an Optimus Prime figure on here, did you? Hasbro makes so many Optimus figures that it would be weird not to break one if you collected as many TFs as I did. I really like Beast Hunters Optimus. The toy is a good size to play with. He’s got a fun and intuitive transformation, and the figure looks good in both modes. I’m not crazy about the head mold, and hardcore TFP fans love to point out that his sword in the show is blue, not green. Still, at less than $20, this is a terrific OP figure.

The Incident:
I have only ever broken one Optimus Prime figure, and it’s this one. It could be worse, like if I broke the MP-10. But like I said, BH Optimus is one of the better figures of the famous Autobot Leader, so I’m still a bit bothered by it. Also, this figure represents something significant in my personal life, as I have documented here. So it kinda pains me to see it less than perfect. What happened is I broke the sword while Optimus is holding it, so now the handle of the sword is stuck in Prime’s right fist. I felt the sword being stuck in the fist, yet I still tried to force it out. Not a good move. Though I’m sure it was a bad job with the tolerance that led to this. My buddy Gemini had the same problem. Only he was more patient and submerged the fist and sword in really hot water and pulled it out.

The Aftermath:
To compensate for this breakage, I went out and purchased more BH Optimus figures, documented in the same post. I got both the US and Japanese versions of this, so now I have two unopened BH Optimus Prime figures sitting in a closet. I’m glad I did, because they are now worth quite a bit. I still want to attempt a fix on my original figure though. I recently bought the 3rd party Blue Skybreaker Sword by Dr Wu that is way better than the sword that came with BH Optimus. Now I just need to get the broken sword handle out of Optimus’ right fist. If I can do that, I will consider this figure back in perfect condition. Maybe I’ll try Gemini’s hot water trick.
 

Bumblebee (Deluxe Class, part of TRU Exclusive 2-pack)
Series: Age of Extinction
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: ???
Mode in Package: Robot
Known Redecos: AoE Bumblebee, standard edition
Status: Damaged; no replacement

The Figure:
How many Deluxe Bumblebees did they make from the Movie-verse? Too many to count, that’s for sure. I got one Deluxe Bumblebee in modern Camaro form from each of the 5 movies. The one featured here is from the 4th movie: Age of Extinction. After a while, all these Bumblebees just kinda blend together. The later Bees became one giant yellow blur. I don’t remember anything special about this one, other than the two circular disc type weapons that he has. For AoE, I got the special TRU 2-pack edition. The package comes with the standard AoE Deluxe Bumblebee that’s painted a bit more orange, and a repaint of Generations Legend Bumblebee from the Thrilling 30 line. One of these days I should put together all my Deluxe Movie Bumblebees for a group photo.

The Incident:
One night when I was transforming AoE Bumblebee from robot to car, I broke off the this right shoulder piece. This piece becomes the front right area of the hood in alt mode. I don’t even know what happened exactly. The part just broke on me. I dunno, I might have forced something, or maybe the part was just weak. Movie toys usually don’t have the best construction to begin with.

The Aftermath:
I thought about buying another standard Deluxe AoE Bumblebee to replace this broken one. But my feelings about this figure is mediocre at best. I didn’t wanna pay MSRP, though I was never able to find another one at less than that. So chances are this figure will just remain broken, not getting replaced or repaired.
 

Bumblebee (Deluxe Class, part of Bumblebee vs Barricade First Encounter 2-pack)
Series: Movie (2007)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: ???
Mode in Package: Robot
Known Redecos: Movie (2007) Bumblebee standard edition, Target Exclusive Evolution of Bumblebee 2-pack
Status: Damaged; no replacement

The Figure:
How many Bumblebees are we gonna have on this list? And why do I keep breaking them? This is the last one, I promise. This is the very first Deluxe Bumblebee released in the Movie-verse. This figure transforms into a classic Camaro, the car that Sam first owns for the first half of the original Movie (and still the best). All the initial Movie toys had this crazy gimmick called “Advanced Automorph Technology”, sometimes just Automorph for short. Basically, several parts of the figure will auto transform upon moving a single piece. This is usually done through spring-loaded action built into the figure. In the case of this classic Caramo Bumblebee figure, the hood will automatically fold down to form the chest upon doing something else (of which I don’t recall anymore). It sounds cool, but it really isn’t.

The Incident:
The problem with these kinds of physical gimmicks is that they’re prone to breakage, and that’s exactly what happened. Years after I owned this figure, I dug him out of a box in the closet. I usually keep my figures in alt mode. When I found him, I saw that the car’s front hood is folded down. I tried to fold it back up, but it won’t click into position anymore. This figure broke while it was in storage. Some plastic pieces broke off after years of holding Automorph spring pressure. I probably should have stored this guy in robot mode. Lesson learned.

The Aftermath:
I actually had another version of this figure as part of the Target Exclusive Evolution of Bumblebee 2-pack. I kept it new but then sold it later, before I found out about the breakage. I do kind of want another one of this Bumblebee, not because it’s a great figure, but for it’s significance as part of a toyline that crossed from animation into live action media. Not a priority though.
 

M-F-B
Series: N/A
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: N/A
Mode in Package: N/A
Known Redecos: None
Status: Damaged; no replacement

The Figure:
This isn’t technically a figure. This is a gun accessory called M-F-B by 3rd party MakeToys. Due to licensing reasons, they can’t call it what it is, which is My First Blaster. In the IDW line of TF comics, this is a weapon for smaller sized Autobots. Swerve is often seen holding the weapon. MakeToys made this accessory to go with their Swerve figure (called Trash-Talk).

The Incident:
I got this accessory in the hopes that it would fit the Generations Thrilling 30 version of Swerve. Turns out, it doesn’t. The handle for M-F-B is 3mm, while Swerve’s hands are for 5mm weapons. Also, I didn’t know this came as a model kit (or maybe I did, but then forgot). I’m terrible at building models. During assembly, I broke off one of the light green bulbs that go on top of the M-F-B. Total bummer.

The Aftermath:
The breakage is beyond repair. And since this actually doesn’t even fit Generations Swerve, and I don’t have Trash-Talk, there’s no point for me to hunt down another one. This M-F-B will stay broken.
 

Soar (Blue)
Series: N/A
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Bombadier
Mode in Package: Robot
Known Redecos: Soar (Red), Soar (Red comic), Soar (Blue comic)
Status: Repaired

The Figure:
Soar by Fans Toys is an awesome homage to G1 Swoop. I have written about this figure already, so read all the details here. If you are collecting Masterpiece style figures and you need to round out your Dinobot collection, you need this figure.

The Incident:
Nothing was technically broken on my Soar. However, when I got the figure, it was missing the large vertical piece of the display stand that Soar sits on in dino mode. I couldn’t believe it! This is the largest piece in the package next to Soar itself. I love Fans Toys, but where was the QC on this?!

The Aftermath:
Capturedprey.com was gracious enough to hunt down a replacement piece of the stand for me. It took several months, but better late than never. I now have a fully completed Soar figure in perfect condition with all accessories intact. Thank you Capturedprey!
 

I do have more figures that are broken/damaged/missing parts, but these 10 will do for now. I’ll make another post when I have another 10. Hopefully that won’t occur. Though with the amount of Transformers I have, it’s only a matter of time.

What figures have you broken? Or come damaged or missing parts? Feel free to comment below.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Top Ten