23 February 2013

Takara MP-15: Rumble and Jaguar (aka Masterpiece Rumble and Ravage) - some thoughts, a review of sorts

I thought I'd take a rest today and not post anything since I'm running the Standard Chartered Marathon (10km segment) tomorrow. However, this set that E and I picked up this afternoon just completely blew me away and got me so excited, I decided to post!

In the afternoon, we went to Yau Ma Tei to pick up the just arrived MP-15: Rumble and Jaguar set (aka Rumble and Ravage). We also picked up eHobby Soundwave and Blaster (Shattered Glass version) giftset.

As many would know, Rumble and Ravage has always been favourites of mine since childhood. It's no surprise that I was very excited to open MP-15 when I got home. 

The ingenuity of the designs just swept me off my feet. In their cassette mode, they were G1 sized. But when transformed, they featured all the complexity and articulation that would put even deluxe class figures to shame.

OKC Part 3 - in which we explore the left side of the main shelf

Now, we look at one of the 2 'main' shelves. The picture below summarises what they look like when standing from afar. The arrangement has gone through many iterations, and this set of photos merely show the latest iteration. heh.

This is the top layer, where its mostly Japanese MIB stuff. The boxes go 60cm deep, so there are lots more boxes behind, but they cannot be seen. As explained in my previous post, I needed the shelves to be 60cm deep so that I can accommodate Fort Max in city mode - the result is a deep shelving space, but the downside is that things must be put behind and might not be seen.

This top layer shows - D-304: Hydra, D-305: Buster, D-309: Black Shadow, D-310: Blue Bacchus and C-326: Galaxy Shuttle. Also shows the very limited and rare MC Axis Model Kits (Arcee, Elita-One and Hot Rod)

This is the second layer. Also contains lots of MIB Japanese TFs (behind). In front are - lucky draw black Tracks, Goodbye Megatron giftset, D-307: Overlord (this is my near C-10, previously MISB, unused piece), D-308: Browning, diaclone Jeep (ie: Hound) and Generations Deluxe Lucky Draw God Primus.

19 February 2013

third party madness

It's incredible, the recent slew of third party Transformers product being released. 

While I generally loathe third party products that knock off existing Hasbro / Takara products (eg: iGear MP-seekers Thundercracker), I'm usually pleased with innovative original third party designs (eg: most of the FansProject stuff).

In quite an unprecedented move, I have actually pre-ordered a number of upcoming third party products  that will be released as soon as by the end of this week. Unlike many other collectors, I don't have to wait for them to ship, but merely have to rock up to the shop and pick them up after work, all in a day's work style and all.

I pre-ordered these:

  • TFC Toys - Uranos Blackbird, aka not-Silverbolt.
  • Master Mind Creations - Terminus Hexatron, aka not-Sixshot
  • Toy World - TW-H01, Hardbone, aka not-Hardhead
  • FansProject - Causality CA-09: Car Crash, aka not-Breakdown
  • FansProject - Causality CA-10: T-Bone, aka not-Wildrider
  • FansProject - Function X-2: Quadruple U, aka not-Weirdwolf
  • FansProject - Function X-3: Smart Robin, aka not-Brainstorm
  • Make Toys - MB-01C: Mobine Chaos, aka not-The Fallen
Looking forward to end of the week!

~ HD

18 February 2013

OKC Part 2 - in which we look closely at the shelf on the right

Previous post: OKC Part 1 - our new place

In this post and the following few posts, I will take a closer look at the 'collection' related parts of our new place, namely the display shelfs.

As with all the furniture and shelving fixtures in our place, these display shelves are completely custom made to our specifications. The take up a 'Ushape' in a room that we tore down and made open plan. Each shelf is 60cm deep - ie: enough to display Fortress Maximus in city mode, see below!

It has been my long time wish that I can display Fort Max in city mode, with lots of mini-Transformers and SCFs among him - with these display shelves, I can do just that!

The shelves also has adjustable tempered glass dividers within. Each tempered glass divider can be adjusted upwards or downwards 'Ikea' style. Tempered glass dividers also come in 3 different sizes - Size 1 goes the entire depth of shelf (ie 60cm deep); Size 2 goes 2/3 the depth of the shelf approx 40cm deep; and Size 3 is 1/3 the depth of the shelf approx 20cm deep. These make a lot of possible display options, especially when there are taller and shorter robots.

For example, I can place taller robots in front and have something behind them - like Teletraan-1 behind Fort Max (see below); or tall robots behind with shorter robots in front. 

The shelf lighting was also specifically done by our contractor. My brief to him was to achieve even lighting, at each level of the shelf - this ruled out having the top down style lighting that many display units had (where the light hardly reaches the lower shelves). The desired effect was achieved using LED strip lighting that went around the perimeter of each shelf.

The camera made the lighting look less even than it actually is in real life, but the overall effect can be seen. The lighting also turns out more yellow than it should be in photos (I don't know why). In actuality, it is completely daylight-white and gives off little to no heat even if switched on for 4-5 hours (I have tried that). As such, each shelf has good even lighting and there is no damage to the toys through heat.

15 February 2013

OKC Part 1 - our new place

After some time, 

we've finally made up our minds, 
this is the place, 
that we wanted to make ours.

Interior layouts are designed by E. Execution by me. The theme is white and blue plus lots of display space for Transformers. Lots of book shelves were also essential and then, the all important Mahjong area.

Here is where we ended up.

Entrance area. Misc shelving. Painting of Decepticon symbol is be E (it's a real oil on canvas painting).

TV area and balcony.

View of swimming pool.

This the the Mahjong area and books area.

Hard Hero statues and graphic novels.

13 February 2013

back, after somewhat of a break

I have not posted anything since November last year.

I thank all those who were concerned and who emailed me either personally or through the site to find out what I was up to, what was happening (and whether I've died!).

Yes, lots was happening. 

In a nutshell, there were these, at least:

  • work had become extremely busy - someone, or something, turned on the tap and never switched it off!
  • renovations for our new place
  • preparations for moving into our new place - there were some 60 cartons of Transformers / toys alone, not to mention other household items
  • the actual moving into our new place
  • unpacking and arranging items in our new place - it's not easy to arrange and display that many Transformers...
  • this site had to be 'saved' - more on that below
  • E and I went on a long-time-coming vacation to South America for a month in December
On the second last bullet point - Webshots, which hosts all the photos on this site, was sold to some company who decided that photo hosting was no longer going to be its core business. What it meant was that if I didn't host my photos somewhere else, then all the photos on this site will become dead links when Webshots 'closed down' and becomes this different animal that the new owners wished it to be.

I have 1 month to save all 6500+ photos, re-upload them and place them back into their original positions across more than 700 blog-entries. Bear in mind that the things in all the above bullet points were going on at-the-same-time! I was stretched to my breaking point and worked till at least 3am every night to save and re-upload photos or to pack for the move (and then longer to unpack after the move).

With the site, I am very fortunate that E and a number of close friends stood shoulder to shoulder with me and helped me battle through to save this site. You know who you are, but I'd like to thank you here once again - 
  1. E;
  2. VF-1 and his lovely wife V - you guys did so much in so short a time, even with the birth of your second daughter happening at the same time;
  3. my classmates S and H, as somewhat of a team for the 2011 posts; and
  4. my other classmate 'Justice' Q.
There is no doubt that this site and the resource it represents to many collectors would not exist today if not your efforts. A very heartfelt THANK YOU E, VF-1, V, S, H and Justice.

Looking at the above, my close to 3 month absence is not really that long, I'd have thought. heh.

There must be a section of people who have been wondering why I have not been replying to their emails over the past 3 months. I hereby apologise and promise that I will be getting around to your emails over the next 1-2 weeks.

~ HD

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