30 April 2012

Series 1, pre-rub Optimus Prime MIB (blue variant)

This is item #4 that I flagged in 'The calm before the storm' post. I'm not posting them in any chronological order, and I just felt like posting about this one today.

This was another someone-showed-something-to-me-I-thought-hey-maybe-I-will-buy-it type of purchase. No, its not really that callous. A buddy collector from the UK have been conversing with me about TFs and I learnt about his sales thread (was more of a trades thread actually).

There I saw this nice MIB Optimus Prime, which made me think to myself "gosh, of all the Transformers I have amassed over the years, including doubles and triples of certain figures, the one thing I have not done is tried to upgrade my childhood Optimus Prime MIB with a mintier boxed specimen".

My childhood Optimus Prime - perhaps its time for an upgrade, no?

I talked more with my buddy and learnt that the Prime he had on offer was not just any Optimus Prime, it was a unique variant.

He described it so well, I thought I might as well quote him:

"I'll try and give you a breakdown of how the first Optimus Primes were released.
  • Japanese Diaclone Battle Convoy - Light blue trailer parts, light blue roller, bloated accessories, metal plates in trailer.
  • First Optimus Prime #1 - Dark blue trailer parts, grey Roller, bloated parts and metal plates. Diaclone mould cab.
  • First Optimus Prime #2 - Light blue Diaclone coloured blue trailer parts AND Roller, non-bloated parts and no metal plates. Updated mould cab.
What's most interesting is that they came in a very early Hasbro box where the stock photography of the radar dish on the bottom of the box actually was not correctly cropped and appears on the front of the box right under the box art."

This was all very interesting to me, very new to me - the last one was a variant that I did not know about. While the bloated parts, grey roller Primes were fairly well know if not well available, this one was new. I was interested. And it was pre-rub too, which led to all sorts of interesting discussions with E and E doing her own research on what is pre-rub.

After a number of small discussions with E, we decided, yes, we would like to add this to our collection.

28 April 2012

A Bathing Ape (BAPE) exclusive Convoy ver 2.0 - grey camo version

It's not often HK gets things later than other parts of the world, but the BAPE Convoy is one instance where we get things later. I know that Singapore already received and sold out its batch of BAPE Convoys - my buddy Cave Collector wrote about it here.

Today was the day BAPE Convoy (grey camo version) would be released in HK. I woke at at 9am to go queue for it. Fortunately, the one and onlyBAPE shop in HK is just 5 minutes walking distance from where I live.

Here in HK, queuing is a very regulated art form. I received a queue number when I arrived - my queue number was "32". Damn, by 9.30am there were already 31 people ahead of me?!? I was told to return to the store at 12pm, it's official opening hour, to purchase what I wanted.

I then walked home and found E already awake. She said she wanted to get a BAPE Convoy too, so I said 'okay, let's go get you a queue number'. We walked down to the shop again and I think it was 10.15am or something and E got a queue number of "44".

These are our queue number cards, with the today's date on them (hence not reusable).

After picking up the queue numbers, we went to this cafe called "18 Grams" to have coffee and breakfast.

Caviar, eggs and toast. Nice way to start the day.

At around 12pm, we returned to the BAPE shop. By this time the shop assistants were already asking people to queue up according to their queue number, outside the shop.

27 April 2012

D-60: Condor MOSC (aka Laserbeak)

This is the second piece I got from FC from Italy from the Calm before the Storm list here. Like many things from the list, this was something I've wanted, but kept at the back of my mind for years and years as I strived to complete as much of G1 as I could before revisiting some of the odds and ends I wanted to pick off.

Why a carded Condor (aka Laserbeak, I'll just refer to him as Laserbeak) when I have the US version MOC and also almost all the reissues of this toy? Reason - this is exactly how my Laserbeak came when I was young. A US carded Laserbeak, for some reason, was never available in Singapore.

For some time, I thought the cartoon just repainted Buzzsaw red to taunt me, just like Rumble was purple/ blue in the cartoon. Neither Rumble (in cartoon colours) nor Laserbeak could be found is stores back in the 80s Singapore! What gives?!?

Somehow, my uncle managed to find a Japanese carded Laserbeak for me. That is how I got Laserbeak when I was young and the Laserbeak I got came on a card like this D-60: Laserbeak.

The carded Laserbeak is something that to this day, I find extremely beautiful and becoming, from the vintage-ness of the card layout to the extremely intricate and detailed box art that is shown to great effect, it is a piece that still makes my heart skip a beat.

Have a look.

26 April 2012

ActionMaster Soundwave MOSC

I know, I know, I said I don't collect Actionmasters, for after all, what's the point of a Transformer that does not transform.

Nonetheless, I do have a number of ActionMasters and they are mostly homages to the early year '84 or '85 Transformers. Also, many of them are E's, cos she is fond of them little figures in their simplicity.

Since E's favourite Transformer is Soundwave, I bought this for her, all the way from Italy - ActionMaster Soundwave MOSC. (this is one of 2 things I got from FC from Italy and one of the items from the list here).

What's special about this? Well, it's Soundwave! Also, his partner Wingthing has inspired a homage to it in the form of a orange coloured Ratbat that comes packed with the recent Encore: Soundblaster release.

AM Soundwave in all its sealed glory.

23 April 2012

The calm before the storm

From the looks of my recent entries, it appears that I have been a little quiet on the acquisitions side of late.

'Is this really case?', I thought to myself as I was heading home today. 

I did a quick mental count of what was on-route and by gosh, no, it's not been quiet on the acquisitions side - these stuff just have not reached me, yet.

Let's see, in the order I bought them, there is:

  1. a pre-Transformer MIB piece coming from the UK (it's here);
  2. 2 MOSC items, one Japanese and the other USA, coming from Italy (they're here);
  3. 2 pieces of 1984 series 1 Autobot cars MIB, unused, with bubble inserts, coming from the US (just here today);
  4. 1 piece of 1984 series 1 pre-rub MIB TF coming from the UK (just here today);
  5. coming from Canada, there is 1 dinobot, 2 power dashers, 1 combiner complete, a 1985 mailaway figure and a pre-TF figure;
  6. 2 boxes, one a giftset and another of the largest Transformer ever made, coming from the US;
  7. 1 exclusive vintage poster coming from the US; and
  8. another exclusive poster coming from a different seller in the US.
That's more than a handful.

So is it quiet of late? Nah, it's just the calm before the storm.

See ya at my next update!

~ HD

21 April 2012

MP-12: Lambor (aka Sideswipe) - A proposal to Takara in relation to accessories and repaints

Aside from Bluestreak, Sideswipe is my next favouritest Autobot car from the 1984 line up of G1 Autobots. 

Imagine my excitement on learning from CybertronCon Singapore that the next Masterpiece figure after MP-11: Destron Leader Starscream was going to be none other than Sideswipe (called "Lambor" by Takara Tomy).

Yes, MP-12 is going to be Sideswipe. Wow! 
(photo on right courtesy of ET from Singapore)

I have long regarded BT-02: Lambor as my definitive Sideswipe in the MP-verse, but really, it does not get cooler than Sideswipe being a Lamborghini Countach LP500S like he was in G1, does-not-get-cooler.

I rewatched SOS Dinobots tonight and there was the scene of Sideswipe using his "pile drivers" to tunnel into the side of Mt St Hillary to uncover dinosaur remains. Then I thought, hey, what accessories should MP-12 come with other than the standard missile launcher and gun?

If I could be so bold as to advise Takara, here are my suggestions in order of priority.

MP-12 Accessory Proposal #1 - Rocket Pack

Where it appeared - USA G1 episode: More than Meets the Eye, Part 3

Claim to fame - "Sideswipe, give me your rocket pack... now!" Optimus Prime to Sideswipe.

Key characteristics - (1) mountable on Sideswipe in robot mode; (2) backward compatible with MP-10: Convoy; (3) possible storage of missiles for missile launchers (I was going to say storage for gun and missile launcher, but let's not get too ambitious huh).

Design references for Takara -

Rocket Pack as seen from front. If you look at the next picture, it does appear like the animators got the Rocket Pack upside down in this shot.

Perhaps the clearest view of the Rocket Pack. The middle part actually looks a lot like the 'backpack' part of MP-10: Convoy. Oh, and MP-12 can be the same shade of red as MP-10 so that the Rocket Pack can be backward compatible even in terms of colour!

20 April 2012

Rare / obscure pre-Transformers auctions on eBay

A buddy and long-time Transformers veteran is selling some of his rare / obscure pre-Transformers items on eBay. 

Amongst some interesting items are the diaclone instructions for Swoop, Mechabot-1 unused paper works set and a very sexy almost Choro-Q looking transformable van that looks very much like protect black Ironhide. The last item is pretty obscure to me as I've never seen it before.

Head over and check them out (and check back over the next few days as he may list more auctions) - Karoon47's eBay pre-Transformers auctions

~ HD

18 April 2012

I need more MP-10's Spikes...

When I was playing with my MP-10, I found that I needed more Spikes (actually, more little people) so that they could populate the Prime cab, the crane, and all the little seats in Prime's container base. There just wasn't enough Spikes!

Today, I found that Spike is not only good for driving a trailer like Prime, he can actually pilot a tank too.


"Let daddy show you how its done, Daniel."

16 April 2012

Whitening Transformers - G1 Jetfire

A year or 2 ago, inspired by other threads on the 'net and on OZ Formers, I talked about how to whiten Transformers. Little did I know that I would need to whiten yet another Transformer - G1 Jetfire, whom on retrieving from storage in Singapore and bringing back to HK, I discovered was horrendously yellowed.

I almost wanted to junk it in the bin and purchase another Jetfire, before calming down and deciding to whiten him.

First I took him apart. See photo on right and look at how yellowed some of the parts are. It's almost as if someone took a yellow marker and marked out certain parts a dirty very unsightly yellow.

I also have some Inferno and Tracks parts to whiten (also in the photo). These were more 'green' than yellow. Anyway, their original colour was supposed to be white.

Below is a close up of just the Jetfire parts. Looks yucky, almost like baby vomit. Eek.

10 April 2012

Market Watch - Korea, April 2012

I was with E in Korea (the South) over the Easter Weekend.

I did try to look for Transformers, but there were next to none or as good as none that I could find. This was plenty fun, but didn't yield anything, toy-wise, as impressive as the Sonokong C-27: Brave Maximus that I found at Lotte World a decade ago (pictured on extreme right).

Won't say that I'm surprised, but I did see some interesting things, a fraction of which were toy related.

So I stayed here...

07 April 2012

Updated my "About Me" page

Today, I have updated my "About me" page, which is one of the permanent links just below the banner at the top of my blog. 

I thought it was high time I made the page more coherent, and I did.

Check it out here.

~ HD

06 April 2012

Good Friday and love thy neighbour

I dug up something from my archives...

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."

"Truth, justice and..."

"We would willingly lay down our lives to save humanity."

05 April 2012

Europe exclusive Turbomaster Rotorstorm MISB

I bought my MISB Rotorstorm of a buddy, also a good online Transformers seller, Specimen-17, a week or two ago. I was (mildly) interested in Rotorstorm way back in 2007 when a friend AR bought it from eBay has it sent to the office and opened the parcel there.

We fiddled around with the toy during lunch and all I could remember was that I like the colour scheme - hey, blues and pink seem to work well. That's that and I forgot about Rotorstorm and, as with most Euro G1s, never had him on my acquisition agenda. That is, until IDW's 'Last Stand of the Wreckers'.

You can think it and say it now, I'm one of those fickle-minded, easily influenced collectors whose want list is easily swayed for portrayals of characters in official media, especially if I like the storyline (which in LSOTW's case, I did). Happened with Dreamwave's portrayal of Sunstorm, happened again in IDW's LSOTW.

For a good part of 2010 and 2011, I was looking for a nice Rotorstorm figure and Specimen-17 was also trying to help me out. It didn't come to pass. In recent months, I bought a job lot of Transformers from an Australia seller (he sucked), which included Rotorstorm, claimed to be complete and mint. What arrived on my doorstep was a Rotorstorm figure that was okay mint, 2 missile launchers that were okay mint, helicopter blades that were not mint (one was broken and badly glued back, thus it sagged) and.... nothing - all 6 yellow missiles were missing.

A Rotorstorm in that kind of condition just didn't cut the mustard with me, so I wrote it off and considered Rotorstorm still 'unacquired'.

Enter Specimen-17 again in 2012, who 'saved' me with a minty (because it has to be) MISB Rotorstorm!

It's that good.

03 April 2012

The base is empty

I'll be travelling to South Korea during the Easter period, so the base will be empty.

I won't be able to moderate comments, so please be patient if your comments don't appear as soon as they usually do. 

I have however, scheduled a few posts to come online during my absence.

Let's see if South Korea turns up any Transformers at all!

See you after Easter,

~ HD

02 April 2012

Review - Takara MP-11: Destron New Leader aka 'Coronation Starscream'

MP-11: Destron New Leader aka 'Coronation Starscream' was released last week.

I picked up mine on Saturday from the shops - gratuitous photo on the right.

Cost me HKD$899, not too bad, I thought.

The key question in my mind and, I guess a vast majority of collectors' mind, is "Why should I get yet another seeker mold?"

I already have MP-03: Starscream (aka 'greenscream'), Masterpiece Starscream (with Japanese Takara sticker), MP-06: Skywarp and MP-07: Thundercracker. That's like 4 of the same mold - do I need another?

And my answer turned out to be a 'yes'.


Because MP-11 is molded differently. For starters its done away with the hateful and honestly silly hip-fins that the designer thought would double up as samurai scabbards (wtf right?). The poorly designed feet which made it very difficult for prior seeker molds to balance on the gound without the supporting stand, is fixed for MP-11. The kibble in robot mode that hangs off the jet air-intakes are also removed (how I hated these, always pops out when I try to transform the jets).

MP-11 fixed almost all the little things I disliked about the previous seeker mold and also gave Starscream a new, more G1 accurate head-sculpt. All are big plus' in my book. Also, the inclusion of a proper crown and cape means I can junk the third party (not so great quality) crown and cape set. It's all good. E likes this piece too.

The new Starscream, tada!

I read that there was some fan-rage about the colours and the shade of grey. I personally think that both are fine and that the grey kind of matches his G1 grey colour and is a shade more accurate than the white of Masterpiece Starscream (anime colour one).

'My fellow Decepticons...' (the armless Jetfire has his limbs in a H2O2 whitening jar... heh)

01 April 2012

Encore 23 is going to be Fortress Maximus (end 2012 release)

Perhaps the biggest TF news this year - Takara has announced that Transformers Encore #23 is going to be Fortress Maximus!!! It will come with all it's G1 accessories like the fabled Master Sword, master sword, Cog, Grommet and etc.

Like all Encores so far, its going to be released in a G1-styled box that is reminiscent of his 1987 release as C-114: Fortress Maximus in Japan. What a great time to be a Trans-fan.

Encore Fortress Maximus is slated for a November 2012 release, just in time to treat yourself to Xmas.

Rumour has it that eHobby, which has been silent for some years, is going to release an exclusive repaint of Fortress Maximus as Solar System Commander, C-311: Grand Maximus!

I've already pre-ordered 3 pieces to form a mega-humongous-gargantuar Autobot City with my existing C-114.

Regular Retail Price tentatively set as ¥35,000 (USD$430 approximately).

Pre-Order details and Source (originally reported by veteran Trans-Fan Goktimus Prime)

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