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Transformers Purchased in April 2014

October 17th, 2014 No comments

April has traditionally been a slow month as far as Transformers purchases go. This year was no exception.

  • FansProject Smart Robin, toyarena.com, $68.95

  • Masterpiece G-2 Ver. Lambor, hlj.com, $50.85

The only figure here that was found at retail was Whirl. I remember I was pretty excited when I saw him, since it has been some time since I saw any TF that I wanted in store. I didn’t know this before I bought it, but Whirl has a third mode. You would only know this if you looked at the instructions (or if you looked at the box carefully where it says 3 modes – duh). Hasbro calls this the Heloped Mode, which is a half-way mode between robot and helicopter, kinda like a GERWALK in Macross. I have not transformed the figure to this mode, since I really don’t see the point. Still, Whirl is a good figure. I like both the robot mode and the helicopter mode. And I’m glad that Hasbro is giving us all the Wreckers. Here’s to hoping they will someday make Broadside.

Smart Robin is a FansProject homage to Brainstorm, a Headmaster from G1 Season 4. As of this writing, it is confirmed that Hasbro is making an official Voyager sized Brainstorm, set to be released in about a month. But back in April I don’t think anyone really knew this. I had a chance to play with Smart Robin last Dec, and back then I knew I had to have one. The transformation of this figure is ingenious. It’s hard to describe in words, but this figure utilizes some transformation mechanisms that are both clever and functional. The end result is a figure that looks good in both modes, and at the same time fun to play with. I would recommend this figure wholeheartedly if I didn’t know about the Hasbro figure that will come out soon, since the official Brainstorm will be larger, cheaper, and potentially awesome. Though at this point it’s hard to say if the Hasbro figure will be better than Smart Robin. I’ll reserve final judgement until I have the Hasbro Brainstorm. Oh, this is the first and only time I have used ToyArena. I was forced to try them for this figure since my usual vendors were all sold out of Smart Robin. ToyArena is a good store. I don’t use them as much since they are based in CA, which means I gotta pay sales tax. But I’ll keep them in mind for the future as a backup store.

Last but not least is the Masterpiece G2 Sideswipe (or Lambor in Japan). This a Takara import figure, and a US release is not likely. I have done reviews of both Sideswipe and Red Alert so I won’t go too deep into it. Imagine taking G1 Sideswipe and reversing the colors of black and red where they are, and you have G2 Sidewipe. Fr MP G2 Sideswipe, Takara gave him a new face mold, 2 different looking guns, some spiked wheels for the shoulder attachment, and a nice looking sword. For the decals, you have the option of using the G1 or G2 Autobot insignia. Very cool! I still have my original G2 Sideswipe from back in the 90s. Maybe someday I’ll put these 2 figs side by side for a past and present shot.

All 3 figures appear for display in this post.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in March 2014

September 29th, 2014 No comments

I only bought one Transformer in March of 2014.

  • Masterpiece Smokescreen (MP-19), hlj.com, about $50.72

To this day I still have not opened MP Smokescreen, but I opened both MP Prowl and Streak so I’m gonna assume he’s just as awesome as these 2. In robot mode, the obvious differences for Smokescreen are the missile launchers, and possibly some minor mold alterations for the head and crotch area. In alt mode, Smokescreen gets an enhanced front bumper/grill and larger rear spoilers.

But yeah, that’s it for March. There was a real drought of TFs at that time. Things pick up later in the year when Age of Extinction is released.

More to come. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in February 2014

September 14th, 2014 No comments

Here are the TFs I bought back in Feb of 2014.

  • Transformers Prime Leader Class Predaking, Target, $16.61

  • Maketoys Giant, tfsource.com, $379.99

I opened all the Deluxe Generations Thrilling 30 figures. I highly recommend Armada Starscream. This particular version of Starscream is a welcome addition to the Generations line. I have the original Armada Starscream also (with Swindle Mini-Con), and it’s amazing to see how much this figure as evolved. Release of Fall of Cybertron Skywarp is no surprise, given how much Hasbro likes to repaint the Seekers. Still, this is a great mold, and in my opinion the trio of Starscream, Thundercraker, and Skywarp must be completed in every line. Scoop is an odd choice for inclusion. In G1, he was a Targetmaster that didn’t appear until Season 5, by which time the US cartoons had already ended. I have Scoop from G1, and he’s still in really good shape. This new Scoop is a direct homage to that figure, but with way better toy engineering and way, way better poseability. He remains a Targetmaster and that is a welcome feature. The Mini-Con Assault Team is something totally unexpected for me. I’m not sure what their origins are. Still, the figure itself is decent. I didn’t like it at first, but over some time it grew on me. But I should point out that this figure does not have the best construction. There are lots of parts that love to fall off, and during transformation it’s more likely that bits and pieces will unintentionally detach.

I have not opened Leader Class Predaking yet. Target was clearing these out at such a low price that I had to buy one, however.

Last but not least, there’s MakeToys Giant. I missed out on buying this set when he was first released. This set I purchased is the 2nd release of the green version. There are many reviews on this set already, so I won’t go into it. But I will say that if you like the Constructicons, then this set is a required purchase. MakeToys pays an incredible homage to the original G1 Devastator with this amazing update. Fans love to compare this with TFC Toys Hercules and try to determine which is better. Now that I have both, I will say that they each have their pros and cons. I can’t decide so I just got both.

Below is a pic of Intimidator, Giant, and Hercules all appearing together. Autobots beware! Bumblebee is already feeling the pain.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Package Fail for Flip n’ Fails

August 21st, 2014 No comments

I was at Target the other day, hunting for TFs as usual. As a seasoned TF hunter, my optics are quick to notice figures that I have never seen before. This holds true even for TFs that I don’t buy, like Flip and Change figs (or Flip n’ Fails as I like to call them). So imagine my surprise when I saw the fig in the pic below, on the left.

At first I was like “Whoa! A new fig!” Then I picked up the box, and I get the feeling I have seen this box before. Sure enough, comparing with some items nearby on the shelf, I realized someone transformed this Optimus into truck mode, put it back in the box, and returned it to Target. A look at the top of the box confirms it, in the pic below.

I guess some fan out there did not fully appreciate the wonders of the Flip n’ Fail. And he was too lazy to even properly put Optimus back in robot mode for the return… hahaha. Though I do give him credit for the thorough re-package work. It could pass for factory if identical new figs weren’t nearby.

And just to be clear, I do not buy Flip n’ Fails. I would stop collecting TFs altogether if Hasbro only made Flip n’ Fails.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in January 2014

August 18th, 2014 1 comment

Continuing with the tradition of this blog, I will still document what I am buying each month. I am now back-posting what I bought per month since the start of 2014.

  • Mastermind Creations Fortis, tfsource.com, $89.99

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Dreading, Target, $17.99

  • FansProject Diesel, tfsource.com, $119.95

I have opened all of these. Fortis (not Headstrong) is almost exactly like Bovis, which I was not expecting. I thought MMC would do more to distinguish between the 2 figures which forms the legs of Predaking. Dreadwing is a redeco of Generations Thrilling 30 Megatron. Only differences between these 2 figs are the paint job and the head mold.

Diesel (not Motormaster) is a complicated piece to say the least. He’s packaged in truck mode like you see in the pic above. In the pics below, I have him transformed to his robot mode, with and without armor.

And for course the real reason we hardcore collectors all get this figure is so we can form the mighty Intimidator (not Menasor)!

Intimidator looks totally kick-ass when combined! The limb components were bought in March and August of last year.

So that’s 3 figures for the month, two 3rd party figs and one generations figs. Not a bad way to start the new year.

Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in December 2013

December 31st, 2013 No comments

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Before I say goodbye to 2013, it is time to count up the Transformers for December.

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Doubledealer, hasbrotoyshop.com, $15.99

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Rhinox, hasbrotoyshop.com, $15.99

  • Mech Ideas Apex and Geminus, tfsource.com, $69.95

  • Crazy Devy CDMW-34, tfsource.com, $28.00

  • Mech Ideas W-01 Longblast Upgrade Kit, tfsource.com, $15.95

  • ToyWorld Trace, tfsource.com, $64.95

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Ratbat, gift from Gemini

  • TF Prime RID Vehicon with custom head, gift from Gemini

2013 ended on a good note with all these TFs! This might be the only month where I had more 3rd party items than offical Hasbro or Takara items. Altogether, there were 8 purchases for 7 figures (Apex and Geminus was one purchase, and add-ons I don’t count as figures). 9 items total, 4 official products and 5 3rd party products.

Doubledealer, Rhinox, and Ratbat I have not opened yet, but will soon. It’s kind of a drag that Doubledealer still has the same mechanical problems as Blitzwing. I was hoping Hasbro would get around to fixing it for Doubledealer, but no such luck. As for Rhinox, I am hearing good things about the figure, so I’m optimistic. Ratbat is a repaint of Generations Scourge. That is a fantastic mold, so I expect this to be good as well.

I haven’t opened the two upgrade kits either, but I plan to do that soon. I need to dig out Hercules, then add this Crazy Devy head to it to check out the LED visor. The Longblast Upgrade Kit is designed to work with RTS Special Ops Jazz. I think I will use this kit on my G2 Jazz of the same mold. But I mostly got this kit for the little Shockwave and Megatron guns. I can’t wait to try those guns with other CHUG figures.

I opened Trace as soon as I got him. I really liked Aurora, so I had to get Trace. ToyWorld did not let me down with this Chase homage. I’m very happy with how Trace turned out. He’s bigger than Aurora. In fact, he’s about the size of standard deluxes that Hasbro used to make in years past, while Aurora is that of the deluxes now in store (which are smaller). Check out pics in my last post for some size comparisons. I like how ToyWorld decided to base Trace on the Lamborghini Urus Concept. He looks pretty accurate to the real thing in alt mode. In robot mode, Trace is nicely proportioned, very poseable, and free of mechanical issues. I highly recommend this figure.

I heard good things about Apex and Geminus from Mech Ideas so I had to get them. At only about 70 bucks for 2 third party figures, they were a really good deal. Anyway, I also give these figures the highest possible recommendation. They are easy to transform and extremely fun to play with. They are obivous homages to G1 Jumpstarters Topspin and Twin Twist. If you need some figures to complete your Wreckers, then look no further. Apex and Geminus are durable and nicely detailed. Obviously they don’t have the original G1 auto transformation gimmick, but as adult TransFans we probably don’t much care for that anyway.

The Vehicon with the custom head is a gift from Gemini. This particular head works great with the Vehicon mold. Since this guy now looks different from the others, I think I’ll make him the Vehicon leader. I now have 6 Vehicons total. Getting a Vehicon as a gift for Christmas appears to be a trend lately. Probably won’t continue for 2014 haha.

OK, now let’s look at some statistics for 2013. Here is the break down:

  • 26 figures from Transformers Prime
  • 20 figures from Generations Fall of Cybertron (FOC)
  • 23 figures from Generations Thrilling 30
  • 10 Masterpieces
  • 10 3rd Party figures
  • 1 Power Core Combiner (PCC)

That’s a grand total of 90 figures for the year. It comes to 7.5 figures a month. This is less than 2012. For me that’s probably a good thing, since I have way too many TFs. I think I have been more selective in what I buy.

Also, I see most of my figs come from Generations. That’s great news, since I love CHUG. Also, Masterpieces and 3rd party figs I choose to buy are all G1 inspired. That means most of my figures are G1 derivatives. What else did you expect from a G1 guy? :)

And as far as the stats from month to month, I don’t really see a trend of when I buy the most TFs in 2013. Next year this might change, since it will be a movie year.

On a more personal note, I’m a little sad to be saying goodbye to 2013. This year has been good to me, both personally and professionally. I hope this good fortune will continue into 2014. And as for TFs, we know Hasbro will release a whole mess of figures since TF4 will be due out in the summer. Long time readers of this blog knows that I’m not the biggest fan of Michael Bay TFs (notice that for 2013 I did not buy a single movie TF haha). So I’m somewhat skeptical of the kinds of toys that will be put on the shelves. I just hope they don’t disturb the release of Generations.

Oh, and one more thing, I got some big changes planned for this blog in early 2014, so stay tuned. Happy New Year and long live Transformers! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in November 2013

November 30th, 2013 2 comments

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone was able to spend it with family and friends, have lots of turkey, get to some serious Black Friday shopping, or however else you choose to best enjoy the 4 day holiday. I usually go back home to Southern California for Thanksgiving, but the past 3 times I just decided to stay here in the Bay Area. This year I spent it with the GF. Both of us are too lazy to cook so we ate at a nice Chinese Restaurant. I know, hardly your usual Thanksgiving feast. But it works for us. And it prepared us that night to rough the stores for some Black Friday deals. More on that later. For now, here are my TF acquisitions for November.

  • Transformers Prime Skyquake, Toys R Us, $29.99

  • Masterpiece Prowl (MP-17), hlj.com, about $47.60

  • Masterpiece Streak (MP-18), hlj.com, $47.58

Finding Skyquake was completely unexpected. All TransFans are aware of it’s rarity, and how Hasbro really botched the distribution on this figure. I found this at a small Toys R Us in a mall, which is a far cry from your usual Toys R Us. The associates that work there call it Toys R Us Express, I think. Inventory here is hit and miss. I guess that’s understandable for a small store. But because of it’s weird inventory, I come here occasionally just to see if I can find something rare. And lo and behold, that day I find Skyquake. I wasn’t looking for the figure at all, but it was a pleasant surprise. Dreadwing is awesome. I expect Skyquake to be the same.

MP Prowl and Streak (Bluestreak or Silverstreak in the US) was ordered from HLJ.com. Both were shipped together for about $16. These two figures are pure TF awesomeness. In alt mode, the Nissan Fairlady 280-Z looks dead on accurate. In robot mode, both figures look exactly like their G1 counterparts, and I would expect no less from a Masterpiece figure. Engineering on these is superb. Transformation is just the right difficulty. I need to review them for sure. Overall I think I still like the MP Sideswipe mold better, but this is damn good too.

So that’s only 3 figures for the month. There appears to be a TF drought in the stores, or at least nothing I want.

As for the Black Friday shopping, here’s what I have got so far.

I won’t list prices, but these are all really good deals. I did some online shopping too, those items have yet to arrive. We’re not done either. More shopping tomorrow at the local premium outlet. Too much for one weekend lol.

Happy Cybertronian Thanksgiving! Transform and roll out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in October 2013

October 31st, 2013 No comments

Once again it is the end of the month, where I count up the Transformers that have come into my possession for the duration. In contrast to September, I received all these TFs in the first half of the month. And in direct contrast to October of last year, where I set a record number of TF figures purchased in a single month, this October is quite modest in terms of figures bought.

  • Masterpiece Acid Storm, Toys R Us, $74.99

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Optimus Prime and Roller, amazon.com, $10.94

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Bumblebee and Blazemaster, amazon.com, $10.94

  • ToyWorld Aurora, bbts.com, $49.99

  • Mastermind Creations Bovis, bbts.com, $89.99

This comes to a total of 7 figs for October. 4 figs from Generations Thrilling 30, 1 Masterpiece fig, and 2 third party products.

MP Acid Storm was a pleasant find (though that same day, he was also available online). I have been hunting at TRU for about a month on a regular basis before I found him early in October. I really like the new Seeker MP molds. Acid Storm is an exact repaint of MP Thundercracker, and I have already mentioned what a awesome figure that is. Acid Storm certainly does not disappoint. I really wish Hasbro would also re-release Starscream and Skywarp in the US in the new MP molds.

The little Generations Thrilling 30 figures were ordered from Amazon. I have never seen these in store. So when I saw them on Amazon for only $1 more than MSRP, I wasted no time buying them. Technically they were not from Amazon, they were from TFSource selling through Amazon. That particular arrangement worked out quite well for me. I don’t live in the same state as TFSource so I don’t have to pay tax, and this is sold through Amazon so it qualifies for free ship with Amazon Prime (which I have). Anyway, the OP fig is just ok. The Bumblebee fig is not half bad. They are fun distractions, and they pose well with Metroplex.

The two third party figs are nothing short of incredible! Aurora by ToyWorld is an homage to Searchlight, a G1 Throttlebot. This figure transforms quite well. He looks nice in both modes, and the construction is solid. ToyWorld does intend to make all 6 Throttlebot homages, and supposedly they will combine! I know G1 Throttlebots never did this, but it’s nice to see ToyWorld go out of their way to make this happen. Now that I’ve seen how cool Aurora is, I plan on getting the rest of them. I got Trace (Chase homage) on pre. Now I need to get Grind Rod (Rollbar).

That leaves Bovis. Fans have been gushing left and right on TF sites and forums about how well Mastermind Creations products are. They are right. Words alone cannot do justice to the quality that MMC have put into this figure. Bovis is a homage to Tantrum, a G1 Predacon. MMC is making the whole team. If the rest of the figs turn out as well as Bovis, then we are really in for a treat. Anyway, I transformed Bovis from robot to bull. He is a really solid piece that any G1 fan needs to own. Bovis is certainly large for a figure that can combine. Predaking will be massive! I love it.

Happy Halloween! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in September 2013

September 30th, 2013 No comments

September was off to a slow start as far as TF purchases go. But then a whole bunch of figures started to make their appearance past the midpoint of the month. Anyway, here they are.

  • Quakewave by Fans Toys, edbomber.com, $150

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Thundercracker, Toys R Us, $12.99

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Hoist, Toys R Us, $12.99

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Starscream and Waspinator, Target, $9.99

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Metroplex and Scamper, amazon.com, $106.03

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Megatron and Chop Shop, Target, $9.49

That’s a total of 6 purchases for 9 TFs. All are from the Generations Thrilling 30 line, except for Quakewave which is a third party product. There are 6 Decepticons and only 3 Autobots this month, but I think the balance of power is clearly on the side of the good guys with Metroplex alone.

For the first time in a long time, I actually opened all the figures I bought in the month! I guess when it comes to CHUG stuff, I just can’t wait. When it comes down to it, I still like G1 derivatives the best!

I went into Quakewave a little bit in my previous post, so I won’t repeat it here. In short, he’s amazing. Get him now while supplies last. Oh yeah, I also want to give a shout out here to edbomber.com. It’s a great store. Quakewave was my first purchase from them and I was very pleased. I like the usual places where I get my 3rd party Transformers, but having one more option is always a good thing. More competition is always a win for the fans.

This Thundercracker is the Fall of Cybertron version, though he’s not packaged as such. He’s a exact repaint of FOC Starscream. I love that mold, but I think in Thundercracker’s colors, this figure looks even better. Hoist is a repaint of Trailcutter, with a new head mold and a new weapon that becomes his crane. I think I actually like this figure better as Hoist.

The little Megatron and Starscream figs are pretty cool. They are easy and fun to transform, while paying good homage to their G1 selves. I kinda like Chop Shop, even though he’s super simple (think G1 Throttlebot simple). Waspinator is a total fail. All his modes suck.

And that brings us to Metroplex. This is to my knowledge the biggest Transformer ever produced! He’s pure awesomeness. You will need a lot of room to keep this guy around, but believe me he’s worth it. The $106 price tag from Amazon is nice too. Oh yeah, he also comes with Scamper. I must review him in the future. This is something I must do as a TransFan.

That covers my purchases for September. This month was kind of a pleasant surprise. I didn’t think there would be this many TFs hitting the stores. The final TF count is good, not too many that I feel overwhelmed, and not too few that I feel like there are no new figs. Plus these are all good figures that fit well into the CHUG or MP verse. Hopefully October will be just as good… Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in August 2013

August 31st, 2013 No comments

Not a whole lot of TF action this month. All purchases in August are for 3rd party products.

  • FansProject Down Force, tfsource.com, $59.95

  • FansProject Last Chance, tfsource.com, $59.95

  • Beelzeboss Heroic Duo Custom Kit Version 2.0, tfsource.com, $33.95

I opened both Down Force and Last Chance, respectively Drag Strip and Dead End. I like these two way better than the first two that they released (Car Crash and T-Bone). The design of Down Force and Last Chance are much better. They don’t feel like repaints of each other, unlike Car Crash and T-Bone. Also, some joints on Car Crash and T-Bone are way too tight. On this new pair, some joints can still be kinda tight, but much improved. Down Force and Last Chance also feel a tad bigger than the first figures, but they are still smaller than your standard Hasbro deluxe. I would recommend buying only for those fans that really like the Stunticons. Now I’m looking forward to FP’s Motormaster homage to complete the set.

The only other purchase this month is the Heroic Duo Custom Kit Version 2 by Beelzeboss. I saw a review of this some time ago, and felt I had to get it. I opened the set, but haven’t tried it yet. The kit is a bunch of accessories designed to be used with CHUG Sideswipe and Red Alert. Included are 2 rifles, 2 missile launchers, 4 shoulder pads for the missile launchers, 1 new head mold for Red Alert, and 2 pile drivers for Sideswipe. This is Version 2 of this set, which improves upon Version 1 with some minor mold modifications, and molding with plastic color instead of painting. The kit looks cool, but the price seems a tad high for a bunch of add-ons.

That’s it for August. Two 3rd party figs and one 3rd party add-on kit. There was nothing to buy in the stores. I did find some Target exclusive Beast Hunter figures. I even bought the Target exclusive BH Abominus set. But I’m kinda sick of BH toys. Knowing me, I’ll probably play with the Abominus set a little when I first open it, then it would just sit somewhere and collect dust. So I returned it to Target.

Hopefully I’ll have more TFs next month. I still got a bunch of figs on pre-order. I hope some of them will come in next month, but you never know. I only find BH crap these days in the stores, so I’m not counting on finding anything good in mass retail. Historically, in a non-Movie year, August is always bad for TFs. I guess this year is no exception.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics