Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

TF Matrix 14 Year Anniversary

October 10th, 2023 Comments off

One more year! TF Matrix is 14 years old (as of yesterday).

Smart readers will see that, between this year and last year, I did not write a single post. This has got to be my darkest hour, in terms of keeping up with this blog.

I mentioned last year that I moved into a new house right before the 13th year anniversary. What this means is that, after moving in, I only did the 13th and 14th anniversary posts. Maybe this house is bad feng shui for blog work. But in all seriousness, I keep this blog up and running because of my love for Transformers. I’m still very actively buying the figures. Though I find I have less time to spend with them with each passing year.

As far as how the blog performed, it got about another 11,000 hits for the year. So I guess that is the baseline. I could do nothing and count on 11,000 hits per year. Not a great stat but I’ll take it. I can’t do any worse. I gotta write at least one entry between now and next year. Hopefully a lot more than just one. I must use the power of the Matrix to light my darkest hour!

Until that day, ’til all are one! Transform and Roll Out!


Categories: Uncategorized

TF Matrix 13 Year Anniversary

October 12th, 2022 Comments off

The show continues! This blog has been running for 13 years. Oct 9th is the birthday for TF Matrix. I’m 2 days late in writing this.

TF Matrix scored just over 11,000 hits for the year. A bit of a drop from last year, but can’t say I’m surprised considering I’m not devoting as much energy into this blog as I would like. Part of this is due to personal reasons. I changed jobs right after the 12th year anniversary. And I’ve been busy moving the last few months. I only moved 2 blocks away, but don’t let that fool you. When you have as many TFs as I do, there’s no such thing as a easy move. But the good news here is that I have tons more space at the new place. I don’t even need my storage unit anymore for all my TFs, and the new house still has enough space for more.

For this anniversary, the only point I wanted to touch on is the crazy prices that we’ve been seeing from Hasbro. Currently, a standard deluxe cost $24.99. When I got back into collecting TFs in 2004, they were $9.99. I remember buying a lot of deluxe TFs in 2006, and they were still $9.99. So I’m going to use 2006 as a benchmark. Accounting for inflation using this inflation calculator, a deluxe today should be only $14.68! Hasbro keeps saying all this price increase is mostly from inflation. Inflation my boron compressor!

It’s clear Hasbro just wants to make more money by increasing profit margins. I’m not against anyone trying to make money. But the price hikes have just been ridiculous. Not to mention that the figures are getting smaller and the packaging has been more minimal. There’s news that it may increase to $27.49 sometime soon for a deluxe. We as TransFans need to stand firm and not accept these inflated prices. I’m not calling for a boycott, but buy in moderation. Send Hasbro a clear message that this is not OK.

But I don’t want to end on a negative note. I’m happy that this blog is still running after 13 years. And will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. Transform and Roll Out!


Categories: Uncategorized

TF Matrix 12 Year Anniversary

October 9th, 2021 Comments off

The show must go on! This blog has now been running for 12 years!

Once again, the blog got about 12,000 hits in the year. That neatly equates to 1,000 hits a month. No gain or loss from last year.

It’s hard for me to summarize how I feel about the TF collecting fandom as a whole. My feelings are definitely a mixed bag. COVID threw the whole world for a loop, and even TF collecting was not spared. Several new trends have definitely emerged in this year and last. Some for the better, and some for the worse.

For now, I’m just gonna make a post here to mark the anniversary. I’ll save my thoughts for another day.

Happy Birthday, TF Matrix! Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Biden vs Optimus Prime

November 10th, 2020 Comments off

Four years ago, when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, I wrote a WTF piece on this blog about the absurdity.

Now, four years later, I’m glad the Trump era is coming to a close. The Secret Service and US Marshalls may have to drag him out kicking and screaming. That could make for some good reality TV. I would pay to watch that.

Things got interesting on election night. There was a point when it looked like Trump may pull off the upset once again. But then counts for swing states mail-in ballots slowly started to make its way, and from there it was obvious that America does not want someone so Tweet-happy to be the Commander in Chief. It took a few more days to officially declare Joe Biden the winner. Election night became election week.

As of this writing, Trump has not technically conceded. He may just leave the White House without anyone knowing, sometime between now and inauguration of the next President. When Megatron loses a battle and runs (as he so often does in G1), he’s not shy about yelling “retreat”. Trump won’t even give us that satisfaction. He’s just gonna quietly sneak away.

I welcome Joe Biden with open arms. But of course, my top pick for the job is still Optimus Prime.

I like the “Bidenisms”, short quotes of wisdom that Biden would spew out here and there. Joe Biden is funnier than Optimus Prime, I’ll give him that. This country could use more laughs.

But as far as doing the job, can Biden outperform Prime? Let’s compare and see.

Joe Biden Optimus Prime
Healthcare Forms a special task force to deal with COVID-19 with some doctors and scientists that no one has heard of Appoints Ratchet and Perceptor to work on COVID-19 vaccine
Clean Energy Outlined a 9 step clean energy plan that will cost $400 billion Convert all energy to energon, make all human equipment energon compatible
Education Promises more resources for schools and educators The great minds of Cybertron already has much to teach the humans
Travel and Commute Will reverse Trump Travel Ban, and invest in roads, bridges, airports, and transit systems Will build Space Bridges and Land Bridges all over the Earth
Overpopulation Has a climate plan, which may or may not address overpopulation Move humans to Cybertron
National Security Has the backing of the US Military Has the backing of the Autobots

I don’t know about you, but Optimus gets my vote. Next election I’m gonna write his name in. And if I lived in Vermont (I don’t), that would get reported.

Congratulations to Joe Biden. I look forward to what you will achieve for this nation.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: Uncategorized

TF Matrix 11 Year Anniversary

October 10th, 2020 Comments off

One more year, my fellow TransFans. This blog has been up and running for 11 years now.

This year I got about the same stats as last year. I guess at 12,000 hits a year, it’s as low as it will go. That neatly comes to 1,000 hits a month. I can do better. I know I can. For now, I’m just glad that the blog is still going.

2020 has been a mixed bag. I’ll start with the pros. The War For Cybertron toy line has me impressed. Siege was great, and Earthrise is even better. The Netflix show was awesome to say the least. Too short, but still awesome.

There has been no new movies in the news, and to me that’s a good thing. I also like that the Studio Series is going through all the movies and re-doing figures from each movie. Most of the SS version of a character is leaps and bounds over the original one released at the time of the movie.

Now the cons. HasTak continues to produce more MPs. The price for MP-44 Optimus is just ridiculous. MP-47 Hound is also way more expensive than he should be. The upcoming MP Starscream 2.0 also continues this trend. As if the price wasn’t bad enough, both MP-44 and MP-47 are plagued with construction issues that require fixes. I am losing a bit of faith in the MP line.

As for 3rd and 4th party products, they’re not stopping. Too much in my opinion. I fear they are saturating the market. A market correction may be around the corner.

Finally, let’s not forget the global COVID-19 pandemic and how it has impacted the collectibles landscape. Figures are delayed as factories are shut down, re-opened, then shut down again. Same goes for international shipping. Store exclusives almost require pre-ordering these days if you want one. Personally I’m buying way more online, as opposed to shopping in-store. Not because I’m afraid of going out. Physical stores just don’t seem to get as much inventory anymore. Scalpers and price gouging was already a problem before COVID, and now it’s even worse.

Despite all these negatives I listed, the toys themselves continue to get better and better, whether they’re official or not. Yes they’re expensive, and yes there are delays after delays. But the improvements made to the figures keep me coming back for more. So many times I have considered getting out of this hobby. Then some awesome figures come along that reminds me of why I got into this in the first place.

Long live Transformers, and long live TF Matrix. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Uncategorized

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Autobot logo

June 1st, 2020 Comments off

The COVID-19 shelter-in-place is still sort of happening where I am. To pass the time, the wife and I started playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch.

My wife is a non-gamer, but she’s the one that got seriously addicted to the game.

As a TransFan, I immediately tried to look for TF related custom designs. I couldn’t find any. So I made my own. Below is my contribution to the Animal Crossing community.

Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Uncategorized

UPDATE: Shelter From Home Transformer Challenge

April 15th, 2020 Comments off

It is now April 15th. Yes I am still doing the whole Shelter in Place thing. But more importantly, I wanted to give an update on how I’m doing with my Transformers Challenge that I outlined in the last post.

I was only able to complete 3 out of the 5 that I set out to do. A bit less than I hoped for, but a 60% completion rate is better than 0.

Fans Toys Roadking

Roadking is successfully transformed into truck mode. Pic below.

From an engineering perspective, this is a really impressive piece. Roadking (aka Motormaster) is only a bit taller than the MP-10 in robot mode, but this truck is equal in size to the MP-10 in alt mode with the trailer! That’s some awesome mass-shifting going on there. Lots of panels collapse onto itself in Roadking’s robot mode, and for alt mode they expand out and form the trailer.

I would say this is a challenging piece, but not impossible. On my next transform I will probably need the instructions again. But I feel like this process can be committed to memory if done repeatedly. At this point I am undecided as to if I would call this a fun transformation. I enjoyed the overall process, but lining up the panels in alt mode is more chore than pleasure.

Masterpiece Sunstreaker

Here is a figure that I had fun transforming back to alt mode. Sunstreaker is looking super sexy in his awesome Lamborghini Countach!

For this transformation back to alt mode, I resorted to using the instructions. But that was more because I didn’t want to accidentally break something (which I’ve done from time to time). Without the instructions, I probably could have figured this out in reasonable time.

Going back to alt mode felt about the same as going to robot mode in terms of difficulty. There are some really small pieces on this figure which makes for an intricate transformation. Engineering wise, Sunstreaker is probably the most impressive official MP Carbot made to date. Definitely a lot going on for a toy this size. One side mirror popped off during my transform back to car mode, and getting it back on took some effort. Other than that, the conversion process is a joy. I intend to transform Sunstreaker more in the future, because it’s fun and challenging. I would say his twin brother Sideswipe is still the better piece as far as being the perfect balance of toy and collector’s item, but Sunstreaker is the more accomplished figure in terms of TF engineering.

Fans Toys Rouge

You could almost say you’ve been to hell and back if you have successfully transformed Fans Toys Rouge. With much sweat and tears, I got this MP style Arcee back to her robot mode.

Looking at the instructions is a must for doing this piece. However, the instructions only show how to go from robot to car. Sure, just “reverse steps to go back” like what all instructions say. That is way easier said than done for something as frustrating as FT Arcee. There a bunch of pieces held together by thin plastic and metal poles. All these pieces move and rotate around these poles, so during transformation Arcee is one hot mess. There is one waist hinge that seems like it would totally break off if you bend her the wrong way. The instructions proved to be only marginally useful. I had to look at another transformation video of FT Rouge going from car to robot. Thank you Chosen Prime for putting that vid together.

The positive about this figure is that Arcee looks absolutely beautiful in both modes. I have no complaints about the appearance of either robot or car mode. She looks like she stepped straight out of the G1 movie. Fans Toys is really all about show accuracy and Rouge is no exception. FT engineers are to be commended for coming up with a figure that looks so good and so accurate in both modes, while the transformation requires no cheating (ex: parts-forming, fake parts, etc). But this figure is not fun at all. It is highly unlikely that I will ever transform Rouge back to car again.

At this point I still got about 3 weeks of Shelter in Place remaining, if plans don’t change. I will get to Megatron and Gewalt in later weeks.

Stay strong and stay home my fellow TransFans. We can beat this pandemic together. Transform and Roll Out (again, not literally out).

Categories: Pics, Uncategorized

Shelter From Home Transformer Challenge

April 5th, 2020 Comments off

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the coronavirus pandemic has forced most of the local counties to adopt a Shelter in Place order. Everyone needs to “Shelter From Home”. In other words, only go out for essential activities, and stay home otherwise. All food establishments are in to-go only mode. Most other businesses are closed. Social Distancing has become the norm. Initially this order was only to go til April 7th, but now it looks like it will extend to May 1st at the minimum.

I have been working from home full-time since St Patrick’s Day. My wife has been working from home for even longer than that. I am busy doing real work at home, all the while trying to entertain a 2-year-old baby who’s stuck at home with us full time since her daycare is closed from the isolation order. It has been tough.

When you have a 2-year-old, life is always busy. I don’t have that much free time on my hands anymore. But when I do, I need to find different ways to pass the time as going outside is a non-option. I stumbled on this article suggesting 10 Transformers-related activities to beat the self-isolation blues. I am inspired by #8 and #9, and came up with my own challenge. I will select 5 MP-style Transformers that’s been lying around and untouched for some time (or never), and get them transformed! I am selecting these 5 below.

#1 Masterpiece Megatron (MP-36)

MP-36 Megatron is a Transformer that I’ve had since May of 2017, and to this day I still have not transformed him! This may be the only figure in my entire collection that I have opened but not transformed. Now, nearly 3 years later, I will attempt to get him to that awesome Walther P38. This might take a while, but it will be fun.

#2 Fans Toys Roadking

I got Fans Toys’ homage to Motormaster in January of this year. I still haven’t opened him, right up til before writing this blog entry. In preparation for this, I got him opened just now. The pic above is him posed with his sword and gun, in robot mode. I will get him to truck mode.

#3 Masterpiece Sunstreaker (MP-39)

MP-39 Sunstreaker is probably the most demanding piece in the entire MP Carbot lineup. I got him back in January of 2018. I opened him pretty soon after he arrived, and got him transformed to robot. He’s been stuck in robot ever since then. Now after 2 years later, I will transform him back to that superb Lamborghini Countach. Since I’ve gone through this once, I am mentally prepared to give my transforming senses a workout. It wasn’t easy going from car to robot, and I anticipate that going backwards will be even tougher.

#4 Fans Toys Rouge

I bought Fans Toys Rouge in May of 2019, about a year ago. I opened her pretty quick. She’s packed in robot mode, and I got her transformed to alt mode fairly soon after opening the figure. But I remember the transformation process being a nightmare. This is not a fun transformation at all. If I compiled a list of top frustrating figures to transform, FT Rouge would top the list. And because of that, Rouge stayed in alt mode all this time. Don’t get the wrong, both modes are fantastic. I salute Fans Toys’ engineers for making a figure that looks true to Arcee in both modes while requiring no parts-forming or puzzle-forming. But damn, the conversion process is not for the faint of heart. I’m hoping that going back to robot will be easier. We’ll see.

#5 DX9 Gewalt

DX9 Gewalt is another figure I acquired in January of 2018. Currently, most fans agree this is the best MP-style Blitzwing on the market. Gewalt is packed in tank mode. I transformed him to jet mode pretty soon after I got him, then transformed him to robot mode. He’s stayed in robot mode all this time. The transformation is not impossible, but definitely challenging. I will attempt to do the reverse transformations from memory, but most likely I will resort to looking at instructions or online videos.

There you have it. My self-imposed Transformer challenge for this Shelter From Home episode. I will attempt to get this challenge done by April 15th. Yes, I know that some of you out there reading this think you can do all this in less than a day. If you really can, then I congratulate you on all the free time you have on your hands. I am not so fortunate. Despite being sheltered at home, I still have a full-time job, and a 2-year-old to tend to. Time is not my friend.

What kind of Transformers related activities are you doing during this difficult time? Feel free to comment below.

Stay safe and stay healthy everyone. We will beat this pandemic together. Transform and Roll Out (again, not literally go out).

Categories: Uncategorized

TF Matrix Ten Year Anniversary

October 14th, 2019 1 comment

Oct 9, 2019 was the 10 year anniversary of this blog! It was on my radar when this date was approaching. But when the date arrived, it totally slipped my mind. I forgot because I just returned from travelling overseas, and am still somewhat jet-lagged. Also, this time I traveled with my 21 month old baby girl. She was fine on the trip for the most part, but she did not adjust well to coming back. Jet-lagged baby == even more jet-lagged parents.

Still, now 5 days later, I am giving this blog the happy birthday that it deserves. I debated if I should really make this post, since I’m so tired, and the blog stats are as abysmal as ever.
But I still felt compelled to make this post for two reasons: 1) I do it every year, and 2) this is a big 10 year anniversary.

Current blog stats below.

If my math is right, I only got about 12,000 hits this past year. That’s pretty sad. Other than my first year, this is worse than every year since. The 2nd year is when this blog kinda took off. That trend continued til the 5th year. Then the hits started sliding every year after that.

In 10 years time, this blog reached a bit over 620,000 hits. About 380,000 when this was on WordPress, and about 240,000 self hosted.

10 years is a long time. I have never even stayed at a job for this long. I’m not happy about the hits that this blog is getting, but I’m proud that it’s been around for 10 years.

Transform and Roll Out.


Categories: Uncategorized

TF Matrix Nine Year Anniversary

October 9th, 2018 Comments off

Well, this blog is still going. I’m not getting the hits that I used to. But keeping this blog alive has got to count for something.

9 Years

Looking at the stats, it looks like everything went down hill after The Last Knight. Can’t say I blame the fans. I am betting Hasbro and Paramount are seeing similar numbers when they do their analysis, just on a much larger scale. Maybe that’s why they are finally ok with letting Michael Bay go. Perhaps that’s the silver lining here.

Though I’m not gonna blame everything on The Last Knight. I will admit I’m not spending enough time on this blog. I have big things planned, but until then… Transform and Roll Out.


Categories: Uncategorized