Friday, 1 March 2019

MONTH IN REVIEW: February 2019



I mentioned in January's entry that I had decided to pick-up doing a monthly review of my collecting again, having originally started doing this at the beginning of last year. Well, here we are, straight into February, and what a month it's been - especially on the reveals front! Lots of new and exciting stuff has been unveiled over the last twenty eight days, and a couple of prize pieces added to the collection during that time too.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

REVIEW: Generation 1 Decepticon Targetmasters (1987)



Just last week I posted an article about my complete collection of 1987 Autobot Targetmasters, where I explained that the reason for doing so was an attempt to focus in on some of the sublines of Generation 1 I have completed since diving head first back into vintage collecting. Some of these individual toys have already featured in my favourite vintage purchases from last year, but I thought that there was good opportunity for a few follow up articles too. Well, having done the good guys, now it's time for the Decepticons!

Monday, 11 February 2019

GALLERY: G1 Season 1 Autobots & Decepticons



If you follow me on social media at all then you may have come across my series of G1 cartoon portraits, which I've been posting daily for the last few weeks. Well, now it's time to share the entire completed series in one place, with a full album of all forty-five characters! The idea really came about as a celebration of seeing every season 1 main character represented in Masterpiece or third party form of some kind, even though in reality that roster is ever-evolving! In fact, with a new Masterpiece Bumblebee having just been properly revealed, not to mention a new Optimus Prime and Hound on the way, it shows you how much this line-up will likely change in the future. However, it's a good snapshot of where my collection currently stands and the choices I have made so far for each character.

Friday, 8 February 2019

REVIEW: Generation 1 Autobot Targetmasters (1987)



Alright look, I admit it - I collect G1. In-jokes asides, it's true that I've spent the last year and a bit dipping my toes back into vintage collecting. OK fine, I'm probably neck deep by this point, but who's complaining when there's so much G1 goodness to be explored, eh? If you've not seen it yet, I recently put together a bit of a top ten list of my favourite vintage purchases from last year, which gave me another great opportunity to revisit and photograph a lot of toys that I had picked up over the previous twelve months. Well, it kinda gave me the idea to also do a few follow-up articles like this one, focusing in on some of the different sublines that we experienced through the '80s. It's not really intended as a review of the toys themselves, but more as a way of exploring my own collecting experiences a little further, and showcasing the choices I've made when it comes to assembling a vintage line-up.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

MONTH IN REVIEW: January 2019



If you were following my blog last year, then you'll know that in January I started doing a monthly round-up of all the various bits I had added to my collection over the previous month. It started out as a way to give a bit of focus to new toys outside of my regular reviews, and became a great way for me to be able to ensure that proper time and attention was given to showcasing photography for stuff that otherwise might not get a mention on this site. Life being what it is, the whole idea kind of went on hiatus for a little while, but given that we're at the start of a new year again it seemed like a good time to give it another go! So here we are.

Monday, 4 February 2019

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2018 (VINTAGE EDITION)


Regular readers will know that I have been on something of a voyage of vintage discovery recently. Despite having owned a fair portion of Generation 1 toys at one point or another in my time, I started to find my interest growing back towards this area of collecting rather significantly around the latter half of 2017. It's fair to say that 2018 was the really bumper year for me though - perhaps even a little more than initially intended! So, when it came time to put together my review of new toys from last year, it somehow seemed unfulfilling to lump in my old school discoveries with that list. Hence they have earned an entirely new list of their own!

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2018


I seem to find myself saying the same thing every time, but it really has been an incredible year. One thing I certainly appreciate about reflecting over the previous twelve months' collecting is the opportunity to acknowledge how lucky we are as collectors to live in an age with so much incredible product on offer to us. The fact that we frequently have to use budget and space as goalposts for what we're able to collect shows you the absolute wealth of quality options on offer, and it was certainly evident to me in the calibre that I found myself considering for this list. However, I was determined to give it a go, especially as many of you have noted that I've been on something of a sabbatical from blog entries of late.

Monday, 2 July 2018

REVIEW: X-Transbots Flipout



INTRODUCTION
X-Transbots Crackup only recently arrived as the first competitor in what is already becoming a war of third party Stunticons. Hot on his heels is Flipout, their interpretation of a Masterpiece-styled Wildrider, and it bodes well for the company that they seem to be planning to release these guys in quickfire succession. DX9 have yet to reveal any of their individual designs after their version of Breakdown, let alone the combined mode, whilst new competitor FansToys have only just managed to unveil rough renders of their first two attempts (and going by their history it's going to be a good long while before we see anything concrete). Meanwhile X-Transbots are busy cleaning up. With a hugely attractive price-point, Crackup has been enough to tempt many collectors along the journey, and thus far has been met with a generally positive reception (including my own review earlier this month). But how does their sophomore effort fair? Thanks to the folks at TFs Express, we can now find out.

Monday, 18 June 2018

REVIEW: X-Transbots MX-XIII Crackup



INTRODUCTION
Third party combiners are nothing new. In fact, they've been going for years, with pretty much every big-robot-created-from-several-little-robots team you can think of realised in a non-official format of one kind or another. However, Masterpiece-styled third party combiners are a bit of a more recent revelation, and there's still plenty of real estate left to be conquered as far as realising all of the various characters in show-accurate, appropriately-scaled toy form goes. So when X-Transbots first unveiled their plans to release renditions of the Stunticons, no other company had thus far attempted it in a true MP-style. Sure, there've been some very cool attempts, most notably TransFormMission's recent more-stylised effort, but nothing that screams the look and feel that many of us would be hoping for from the Menasor team.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

MONTH IN REVIEW: May 2018



So, regular readers will no doubt have noticed my gradual (OK, not so gradual) descent into G1 madness over the last six months or so. In truth it's been on the cards for a lot longer than that, but the joy of rediscovering old favourites has proven too much fun for me to hold the floodgates shut too much, and that's to say nothing of how thrilling it has been to discover at least a couple of moulds from decades ago that I'd never even experienced before! Well, that trend continues aplenty this month, and in particular you'll note that we're taking a dizzying trip back to 1987, with a few pit stops in 1988 for good measure. These two years make up one of my favourite eras of Transformers collecting, with an amazing number of truly epic toys and creative concepts hailing from within just a twenty-four-month period. Anyway, before I give the game away, have a read of what's in store and see for yourself how lovely this lot is.

Monday, 30 April 2018

MONTH IN REVIEW: April 2018



I mentioned last month that I may have been on something of a G1 kick of late, and when you're done reading this month's write-up, you'll likely agree that's no exaggeration... in fact there's possibly only so many months of collecting like this one that I can write about before people start pegging me as an actual full-time, no-holds-barred G1 collector. Which I'm really not, honest. There just hasn't exactly been a lot going on in the Masterpiece world of late, has there? Yeah, that must be it. All that said, what did April bring?

Saturday, 31 March 2018

MONTH IN REVIEW: March 2018



OK, so despite all my best protestations to the contrary, those who know me may well have noticed that I have been on something of a G1 kick recently. Do I collect G1? Well, you'll never hear me publicly admit that (it's a running joke), but no doubt there's something exciting about the hunt for minty specimens of vintage items that's been captivating me of late. If you read my review of February then you'll have maybe noticed some of the journey I've been on as part of that rediscovery, but things have definitely kicked up a notch in the month since.

So, what did March bring?

Saturday, 10 March 2018

REVIEW: TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-40 Targetmaster Hot Rodimus



One day someone will put together a list of "rather underwhelming new Transformers toy reveals", and I have no doubt that MP-40 deserves a spot somewhere on that list. Seriously now, would anyone have pegged Targetmaster Hot Rod, a seemingly-close repaint of a figure we received almost exactly two years prior as a desirable choice for the next mainline Masterpiece figure? The problem is of course compounded by the lack of other reveals happening at the moment; as it stands this chap is actually the last G1 standard release character on the roster, with only Beast Wars Dinobot and the special edition MP-17+ Prowl left to go before we're potentially in limbo. Whilst that doesn't concern me too much (I have no doubt Takara are cooking up something), I can understand why MP-40 was met with a collective sense of "huh?" when he was announced. After a fantastic last year run with the likes of Grapple, Artfire, Sunstreaker, Megatron... I don't think anyone thought that this is how they'd kick off 2018. But hey, here we are.

Monday, 5 March 2018

REVIEW: Alien Attack STF-01 Firage



Whilst putting this review together, I shared a couple of completed pictures of the figure with some friends of mine. "Who is that supposed to be?" came the immediate response from one of them, despite him having seen Dark of the Moon, the live action Transformers film from which the intended robot hails. Even when I pointed out that the character's name is Dino, they still had precisely zero recollection of him actually being in the movie, and it's perhaps not hard to understand why. If you check on Youtube, you'll find a video which collects all of the Autobot's scenes in that film into one handy package. It runs for a mere three minutes and fifty one seconds (by my rough approximation, that's about one hundredth of the total runtime, no? It just felt like it?), which is especially telling once you realise that most of that is spent in car mode or hanging around in the background. Still, Dino has seemingly made impression enough to be granted his own third party revision, and so here we are. Oh, and if you were wondering about the name, it's definitely not an unfortunate homage to that political pillock, Nigel Farage (puttup!), but instead a mash-up of Ferrari and Mirage, which was rather confusingly the character's name when he was originally realised in official toy form. And with all that cleared up, let's crack on with it!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

MONTH IN REVIEW: February 2018



Having committed to doing a monthly round-up of my collecting as of last month, it now appears that I perhaps picked the absolute worst time to start! February has proven to be an exceptionally busy month, and whilst that's mostly because of family commitments and professional circumstances, thus not affording me much hobby time to begin with, there has also been something of a deluge of new additions to the collection. Some of you may be aware that I have been going through a bit of a reappraisal of my collecting boundaries of late, especially with my Masterpiece line-up now complete save for any new releases. You'll no doubt notice a bit of a shift towards reissues of some vintage figures and a few other examples from years-gone-by, and whilst in truth this has been building up fairly steadily over the last six months or so, it's definitely kicked into gear of late! In fact, I actually acquired a number of additional items from my wants list that don't even feature here, mostly thanks to a group buy from a Japanese retailer with some friends, but I'm keeping them safely tucked away for later down the line when I can find chance to appreciate them a bit more!

All that said, what has February brought?

Sunday, 25 February 2018

REVIEW: Mayhem Mekanics The Unrustables MM01



Whilst I'm sure that many people, like me, tend to appreciate the wonderful world of Transformers as our sole collecting focus, that doesn't mean that we can't branch out occasionally and have a bit of fun, does it? After all, despite my rather exclusive appreciation of the infamous robots in disguise, I do also make time to keep up with the recent Diaclone reboot, for all its joys. I mean, it's all transforming robots at the end of the day, isn't it? And so it is that I find myself excited to check out new third party company Mayhem Mekanics' first figure, which is also the debut of their Unrustables line. And boy, is it an absolute corker.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

MONTH IN REVIEW: January 2018



I've been steadily pumping out reviews of new figures that come my way for several years now, and whilst I do try to put down my thoughts on most stuff in my collection, I don't always find it achievable to write about absolutely everything! It's not even just that hobby time needs to fit into a busy schedule along with family and work and lots of other stuff; it's also that some of the figures I choose to pick up don't really demand a full review to be written about them. However, that doesn't mean that I don't want to take pictures and even share a few thoughts, so I thought I'd try my hand at a quick monthly rundown of stuff outside of the regular reviews, both old and new, whilst chucking in a few other bits for good measure. Hopefully it proves to be an interesting read too, not least because I think it's a good opportunity to showcase some of the more unusual figures that come my way!

So, what has January brought?

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

REVIEW: Unique Toys R-01 Peru Kill



Lets be frank - some third party toys have rather bizarre names, don’t they? I mean, Unique Toys own efforts can be a bit ropey from time to time, with contributions like Allen and Sworder landing with all the elegance and charm of a handgliding rhinoceros, and that’s to say nothing of me still scratching my head over stuff like Gahz’ranka. Not that the competition have it sown up; let’s not forget that whole FansToys Willys debacle after all. Still, I was genuinely mystified by this submission in particular, until a friend reminded me that the character in question makes a notable kill in Peru as part of the movie from which he hails - hence Peru Kill. I’m not sure if I like it better now or not.