Friday 13 December 2019

REVIEW: TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-46 Blackarachnia

New Masterpiece releases are always kind of a big deal. Love or hate the current direction of the line it never fails to get people talking! However for Beast Wars fans things are generally pretty rosy, as the line continues to pump out one excellent mould every year or so since we first saw MP-32 Optimus Primal back in 2016. Well now here we are with the latest contribution in Blackarachnia, but does she continue the positive trend? Let’s find out!
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Wednesday 27 November 2019

REVIEW: Ocular Max PS-01R Sphinx Regenesis

Love them or hate them, Generation 2 Transformers are a thing. And love them or think they're insanely garish repaints that you wouldn't waste your time with, but Masterpiece versions of them are now also a thing! Whilst it all kinda started with MP-12G Lambor back in 2014 (where have those five years gone?), it's only been more recently that the unofficial scene has cottoned onto the idea that they can rerelease their designs in a ludicrous second colour scheme and some people (like me) will eat it up. You see, be it ever so loud and gaudy, there's nothing quite like G2. So here's Ocular Max with what I fairly confidently believe might be the ninth(!) version of their Sphinx mould, and boy have they gone for it, huh?

REVIEW: X-Transbots MX-XIIIT Crackup (Youth version)

Third party combiners have been dominating the market for some time now, but of late we've definitely seen a rush by various companies to deliver the definitive take on these characters in so-called Masterpiece-style. Bigger, bulkier, more complex than ever and, crucially to some, intensely cartoon accurate. X-Transbots have thrown their hat in the ring with Monolith, their attempt at a 3PMP Menasor, but unlike some of the competition they've also carved a separate niche by releasing first Generation 2 redecos of their designs, and now Generation 1 toy-inspired versions as well. First out of the gate is Crackup, their attempt at a toy version of Breakdown, and given how much I continue to enjoy the original release I've been pretty excited to see how he fares!

Tuesday 26 November 2019

REVIEW: X-Transbots MM-IXZ Barada

Time goes by extraordinarily quickly in the world of Transformers collecting. I was just sitting down to put together a few words on X-Transbots Barada when I decided to look up the review I did of the previous version of this mould, Klaatu, and was stunned to find it was from well over two years ago. How did that happen? In any case, we're back at it again with a fresh repaint for this design, and a slight feeling of reassurance that enough time has passed to fully indulge in another version of the same toy! Fortunately, it's a pretty good one too.

Wednesday 13 November 2019

REVIEW: FansToys FT-29T Quietus

As I was preparing for this review I looked up the last write-up I did on this blog about a third party Masterpiece-style Cyclonus and was surprised to see it was published almost three years ago to the day! I don't know why but I'm sure that says something about the whole notion of assembling a Masterpiece collection and the fact that we're never really "done" as there'll always be tweaks and upgrades to make along the way. In any case it also made me feel that three years wasn't such a bad length of time to have passed before looking at a new version of the character, so with that said let's dive into it!

Wednesday 6 November 2019

REVIEW: FansToys TF-31C Spoiler

For whatever reason, third party attempts at Transformers characters generally come in threes. Someone, somewhere decreed it. It's rarely less than three and it's even rarer to be more than three, as three seems to be the absolute sweet spot. Reflectors, Insecticons, Seasprays, Springers, you name it. Oh, and now the rule of three has spread to the Combiner wars (see what I did there?) as everyone and their mum is having a go at giving us Masterpiece-styled big lads. Well, now FansToys are throwing their hat into the Stunticon ring with - Spoiler alert! - Spoiler!

Wednesday 30 October 2019

REVIEW: Aoyi Mech / Black Mamba LS-11 Ancient Leader Scorn

Boy, Michael Bay's Transformers movies are a bit of a divisive topic, eh? And knock off toys too, huh? Well fortunately giant robot dinosaurs are definitely awesome and everyone agrees, so it's all good! Yes, for today's review we're taking a look at Aoyi Mech Ancient Leader, which is an oversized knock off (or OSKO) of an official representation of Scorn from the fourth TF film, Age of Extinction. I guess depending on how you feel about the first two topics then perhaps you've already made up your mind on this one, but I'll attempt to walk you through it all the same. So let's go!

Monday 28 October 2019

REVIEW: FansToys FT-39 Jabber

It's been a good while since I've flexed my review muscles properly outside of doing monthly rundowns, but here we are back at it again with a new FansToys release. Yep, I've been inspired to get typing by heft and sparkly finish. After all, many of us have been waiting patiently for another stab at a Masterpiece-styled Blurr for a little while now, so let's take a look at Jabber and see if he absolutely, positively, definitely hits the spot.

Friday 23 August 2019


For many Transformers fans based in the UK (and beyond!), TFNation is a landmark of the social calendar. The 3-day convention in August is *the* event to go to if you're at all interested in transforming robots, and is packed with panels, activities, events and all kinds. Of course there're also plenty of toys to be found!

Monday 12 August 2019


We're really cracking through 2019 now, aren't we? It's always around this time of year that I can't believe how fast the months are rolling by. I guess it's one of the many reasons that I enjoy putting together this regular update so much, as it allows chance for a bit of reflection. Needless to say it's been another busy time with plenty going on, so let's get right to it!

Wednesday 12 June 2019


How is it June already? I swear as I get older the months are speeding up. Or maybe it's just that keeping a monthly blog is one way to make you acutely aware of the ever-constant passing of time. Still, it's been an awesome month, so who can complain? I mean, just have a look at some of the wonderful new toys that have made it my way in the last thirty days or so. This one's particularly photo-heavy, so strap in and let's crack on, shall we?

Wednesday 1 May 2019


So we're over four months into the year already, and I'm certainly trying to keep the momentum going with the regular blog update! In fact this month I think I must've been bitten by the photography bug, as I've well-and-truly overdone it in terms of the sheer numbers of pics I've stuffed into this article... but perhaps that just says how much I've enjoyed some of the toys that have come my way, eh? Read on and you'll see just how much!

Monday 1 April 2019


If you've been following my blog recently you'll have noticed that I have started up my monthly reviews again, giving an overview of all the various bits & bobs I've been adding to my collection month by month. January and February have already been pretty busy months, but for March there's a bit of a change of tack in that much of the stuff here I've been hanging onto for a little while already, and have simply taken the opportunity to unpack for the first time!

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


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


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.