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!

As mentioned in previous months, I've also struck up a bit of a relationship with the wonderful chaps at, and will be supplying them with photos of a number of items moving forward, all of which I will feature here too. I'd definitely recommend giving them a look, as their service has been absolutely top notch in my experience - great prices, excellent shipping options and reliable packing.

Before we get into the stuff that I actually collected this month, let's take a moment to look at some exciting new reveals that have happened!

TakaraTomy Masterpiece Atmos MP-10 Convoys

Pic c/o hype_kicks_and_wear_tyo_jpn

Wait, didn't these chaps get revealed last month? Well, yes it's true that no less than *four* new MP-10 colour schemes inspired by Nike atmos trainers were indeed unveiled in February (including the Lebron version which has already been released!), that didn't stop them showcasing two more of the things at March's "Atmos Con" event. So now we can add "Animal" and "Tiger" to the list!

Pic c/o hype_kicks_and_wear_tyo_jpn

These two actually flew under the radar until they popped up in an official Atmos Con video very briefly. There's seemingly still no confirmation on whether or not the now five unreleased colour schemes are all going to see retail release or not, as it seems that they were initially part of a competition to vote on which one people preferred. So, I guess we'll have to wait and see, but for my part I think it'd be quite exciting to see them all given a go!


TFcon Reveals
TFCon in the USA is always a good source for new information about upcoming third party Transformers toys, and so the March event in Los Angeles was of course no different. There was a wealth of new product unveiled by different unofficial manufacturers this time round, so much so that I'm simply going to mention the bits that were most exciting for me personally.

FansToys showcased a number of upcoming projects, including some exciting looks at their Aerialbots & Stunticons sets. However, the one that had a lot of people talking was a first-look at a Masterpiece-styled Astrotrain, which, should it make it to market (*cough* WHERE'S BERSERK? *cough*) would be the first truly cartoon-accurate attempt at the character intended to slot in alongside the MP line. Oh, and it looks pretty ace, too, with three attractive modes and some nifty features such as that train track flight stand. And of course the fact that they've named it Thomas has nothing to do with me wanting it at all. No, Sir.

Fans Hobby had already teased that they would be giving us a look at a Minerva toy from them at TFCon, but it was still exciting to see Athena unveiled in all her glory! Clearly they're still on a Masterforce kick after the successes of Power Baser and Double Evil, and I for one couldn't be happier about it! This toy looks to have some neat features, and has definitely left me looking forward to see it in colour. Bring it on!

Of all the things I thought I might be writing about this month, a Masterpiece-scaled Star Convoy homage from Mastermind Creations was not one of them. Still, Stellarus Prominon is definitely a thing that is happening, and oh my word it looks amazing! And so big! Just look at the size of it next to their Ocular Max Arcee... I'm keen to see how this shapes up.

I own precisely nothing from Zeta Toys currently, but that's not to say that I don't feel extremely tempted every time people post pictures of their gorgeous-looking Superion combiner. Well, they've only gone and dropped a look at the first 'bot in a Raiden line-up, haven't they? The idea of Masterpiece-scaled Trainbots is exciting indeed, and Moon Walker looks to be a cracking first step. That was not a foot joke.

And finally, Planet X gave us a look at an upgrade kit for their Ismenios figure, which is intended to make it look a lot more like G1 Deathsaurus than the toy's natural IDW-inspired style. Now, I'd written off ever owning that figure despite previous temptation, as I wanted something more Victory-inspired for my collection, but this was absolutely enough to tip the scales for me. Needless to say Ismenios is being added to the collection and I can't wait to upgrade him as soon as this kit becomes availble!

Check out the full set of TFCon third party slides here.


OK, let's crack on and see what's been added to the collection this month! It's a bit of a G1-fest this time...

TakaraTomy e-HOBBY Collector's Edition 88 RoadHauler (2003)
This is one of those items that I have had hanging around for quite some time, but for one reason or another it's taken me until now to finally crack it open and give it a good bit of appreciation. And my, how much appreciation does this thing deserve? The mould itself I am of course very familiar with. I had Inferno as a child (in fact I still have that well-worn copy), and I'm pretty sure Grapple has made it through my hands at least once before too. However this e-HOBBY exclusive reissue is a new one on me, but it looks absolutely superb. So who is "RoadHauler" anyway? Well, for those unaware, there's a whole story about Grapple originally being set to appear in the 1984 line-up of G1, and thus he features very briefly in vehicle mode in the first ever cartoon episode of the original series, albeit referred to by name as "Hauler". This 2003 toy is intended to reimagine that non-character with his own storyline as an additional member of the Constructicons, hence the colour scheme on show here. Anyway, there's a whole TFWiki entry on the thing if so you please. Meanwhile, check out the stunning toy!

With Collector's Edition Road Rage and Tigertrack

With Encore Constructicons (Anime Colour Version)


TakaraTomy e-HOBBY Collector's Edition 48 Astrotrain &
TakaraTomy The Transformers Collection TFC-11 Astrotrain (2004)

Keeping on the reissues theme, here're two more pieces I have had hanging around MISB for a little while now. I was finally inspired to free them from their cardboard prisons by two things: firstly, the arrival of the Platinum reissue last month; and secondly, the purchase of a particularly minty vintage original which is already on the way for next month's perusal.

So I've no doubt some of you are reading this and thinking "who needs four Astrotrains?" but I for one couldn't be happier with them. Interestingly both of these reissues pay homage to different aspects of the original toy. The TFC version is modelled after the toy's original appearance on release in Japan in 1985, where he looked very different to how many Western fans will remember him! The Collector's Edition release is billed as being an "anime" version, closer in appearance to Astrotrain's on-screen appearance, but also takes some obvious cues from the original prototype of the toy that many of us may remember seeing in catalogues back in the 1980s (photos of which can be found on! They're both really lovely but there's no doubt for me that the sought-after anime version is the definite stand-out here, and really needs to be seen in hand to be fully appreciated. If anything, they've made me even more excited about that vintage version dropping soon!

With Platinum Edition Astrotrain


Hasbro G1 Micromaster Station Ironworks (1989)
Time for something that definitely isn't a reissue, but is a lot of fun! Like most people who grew up with Transformers in the 1980s I have a huge love of Micromasters, but I've been holding off on picking up any of the bases for fear of space issues more than anything! Ironworks was always a particular favourite of mine, both because I had this set as a child but also because of the somewhat random nature of an Autobot windwill station. So, when I saw a cheap listing, I couldn't resist.

Ironworks himself is a total treat with a gorgeous yellow colour scheme, but it's once you take the transforming base into account that this whole package comes to life. It has kinda opened the floodgates to more Micromaster purchases for me, although the question of where and how to store them all is definitely going to need to be answered sooner rather than later! Ah well, at least they're super fun to take photos of, eh?

With G1 Mudslinger & Highjump

With G1 Powertrain

Also with G1 Tote, Flak & Big Shot


Hasbro G1 Pretender Beast Chainclaw (1988)
Another vintage purchase this time, and one that I've been eyeing up for some time as I attempt to fill in the blank spots left to go in my Pretender line-up. I always thought the Pretender Beasts were really fun, although as a child I only had Catilla, which rather ironically is now the one I'm left to collect. Chainclaw is an odd thing indeed in many respects, hailing from the period where Generation 1 toys started becoming really gimmicky, but is still awesome enough to make it work! I got my copy for a great price considering the condition of the shell and the intact paint, which means like most of my Pretenders he'll never wear his helmet. However he is currently looking a little bare (no pun intended), so a fresh set of Reprolabels should sort that right out. Wonderful stuff.

With G1 Carnivac & Snarler


TakaraTomy e-HOBBY Collector's Edition 76 Insecticons (2004)
Another reissue here, and another item that's been waiting for the right time to investigate, although having done so I can't believe it took me so long! Believe it or not I've actually never owned a set of the G1 Insecticon moulds before, but this has been a particular treat because of the amazing colour schemes on offer here! This reissue Insecticon set is of course based around how these toys looked in their original Diaclone appearance, pre-Transformers, and represents a great example of what these e-HOBBY reissues do so well by offering familiar moulds with a fresh perspective. Despite being non-sentient robots with evil Waruder drivers as part of Diaclone lore, here the trio are reimagined with their own personalities as Salvo, Shothole, and Zaptrap, and they look absolutely amazing. The inclusion of small energon cubes is the proverbial cherry on top, making this a highly recommended package overall.


Wei Jiang Sabertooth
If you checked out last month's entry then you'll know I had chance to take a look at Wei Jiang Soarer, the first in their line-up of slightly recooked KOs of the Power of the Primes Predacons. Contrary to a lot of speculation, they're not oversized versions, nor are they straight-up KOs. I suppose you could say that they're "improved" versions, given that they feature lots of little touches like redesigned arms and legs with panels instead of the gaping holes you find on the official versions. In truth they are ever-so-slightly larger too, although you'd be hard pressed to notice it in hand! This month sees the second in the team arrive for perusal, and it is of course a take on the official Rampage. As with Soarer there are some notable elements improved over the official version that kinda make this a no-brainer for anyone who's yet to pick up this set, but if you already own the POTP toys then I wouldn't say it's an essential "upgrade". That said, the joints are definitely way tighter than the toy on which it's based, which is obviously good if a little bit disappointing concerning the official effort!

You can find this toy available at Show.Z Store here.

With Hasbro POTP Rampage (left)

With Wei Jiang Soarer


Black Mamba BMB Dino Force
File these two under toys I definitely was not expecting to cross my path this month, but nonetheless I had the chance to check out two of Black Mamba's Dino Force! These guys are KOs of the Power of the Primes Dinobots, which of course rather notoriously combine to form a larger mode, named Volcanicus. Here they've been given a few upgrades and perhaps more obviously a rather eye-catching recolour, with every member of the team being a different palate for a real popping Power-Rangers-esque vibe. It's not my typical kinda thing, but for my part these two seem to be nicely done and I'm told by friends in the pub that they compare extremely favourably to the official toys! Having checked out pics of the rest of the set and what the combined mode looks like in all its multi-coloured glory, there's no denying that it's certainly something to behold.

You can find this toy available at Show.Z Store here.


Hasbro G1 Rescue Force (1992)
So if ever you want to prompt a lot of questions, just post pictures of the European-exclusive Rescue Force toys on social media! Yes, these little known fellas have certainly piqued some people's curiosity, but for my part I've been itching to get them all lined up for some time now. In fact it was a little while ago that I finally assembled the team all in MOSC condition, before deciding to plunge in and get them all stickered up for display.

So wait, who are they anyway? Well, you may recognise these moulds as being repaints of four sixths of the Japanese Victory Liokaiser set. They were repainted and repackaged for release in European territories back in 1992 (when people in America mistakenly believed that Transformers had been cancelled, poor loves). The rest of us were still merrily enjoying new toys as well as a plethora of Japanese re-releases such as these, although there's no doubt that Rescue Force are still a bit of an oddity. Only partially released and without individual names nor the pieces required to make the combined form, it left a lot of us wondering what some of the extra functionality was about when we were kids, I can tell you. Of course, as adults there's only one thing to do - track down KO versions of the two missing members and a suitable head and combine them to make a sort of weird alternative to Liokaiser... much as a friend of mine debuted in the pub recently.

In fact I'm part of the way there already, and already have my own head piece ready to go!

Anyway, KO shenanigans aside there's no denying that the four official lads in this team are really a lot of fun. Very basic, but still very enjoyable, and it's great to have added them to the ranks again in such lovely condition.


TakaraTomy Micromaster Landcross (2003)
If you've read my 2018 vintage year in review then you'll know I've really been digging Victory toys like Star Saber and Victory Leo of late. Well, I've been itching to add Landcross to that line-up for some time now, and finally decided to take the plunge! I'll admit there've been many times I have eyed up vintage giftsets but in the end I decided it was a better decision to plump for the reissue set. These guys were released in 2003 under the small Takara Micromaster line, despite, y'know, not actually being Micromasters themselves. I mean sure, they're pretty small and all... but they're definitely not Micromasters!

Anyway, I knew they were going to be fun, but oh my word they are so much fun! Each of the six smaller robots has so much personality of their own that you can forgive obvious stuff like bizarre proportions and what-have-you. However, it's arguably once you start pairing them into their respective combined modes that they really show you a thing or two. And yes, whilst there are three "official" combinations in the forms of Wingwaver, Dashtacker and Machtackle, it's fun to experiment a little and see what else you can come up with too!

Oh, and did I mention what a handsome beast the full six-figure combined mode is? That classic G1 head sculpt is truly one for the ages! It's always such a pleasure to discover vintage moulds that I have no previous experience of, and Landcross has certainly not disappointed on that score. Victory!

Mach & Tackle


Tacker & Dash


Wing & Waver


With G1 Road Caesar

With Micromaster Sixtrain & Sixbuilder

With G1 Victory Saber


Hasbro Human Alliance Frenzy (2009)
A small footnote this one, but I did also acquire a movieverse Frenzy toy to add to my burgeoning collection of Masterpiece-styled Bayformers this month. A good friend of mine was kind enough to donate his companion from the 2009 Human Alliance Barricade release, and he looks surprisingly ace when lined up with the likes of MPM Barricade et al. I'll no doubt shoot some photos another time, but for now there's just MPM Megatron to go before I have a complete line-up of 2007 Decepticons. Yay.


Now onto my favourite new toy this month, and boy is it a doozy...

Hasbro G1 Protectobots (1991)
Few toys give me such sheer nostalgic vibes as the G1 Protectobots. I don't know what it is about these fellas, but they just scream 1980s Transformers to me! There's so much to love about the individual modes, the combined Defensor form, the blue fire engine, the integrated combiner head... gah, I love it. Well, anyway this is a bit of a cheat in all honesty, as I've actually had all five of these chaps sat ready to go for some time! In fact the figure I actually added to my collection this month was... the Stunticon Breakdown, wha? Yes, I've been patiently searching for a European Classic gold card Breakdown for some time now so that I could complete my line-up of reissue Scramble City limbs and put them next to each other a bit like this...

Having achieved that, I was eager to get cracking on appreciating the toys themselves, and immediately decided that the Protectobots were the first to be unleashed! I mean, just look at these beauties. Owning them again in such stellar condition with perfect stickers is really a true joy. One of those moments when the hobby couldn't be better, really.

So sure, maybe they weren't technically added to the rank this month, but who cares? There's no way that these fine specimens weren't going to be my toy of the month. Oh, and the best part? There's still the Combaticons, Stunticons and Aerialbots to go!

Hot Spot

First Aid




With Chronicle CH01 Optimus Prime


Should be a good month coming up, as Masterpiece Beast Wars Megatron is finally due to arrive and MP-10ASL Lebron Convoy is on the way too! Oh, and I may have had some help with a friend to make an acquisition from TFCon of one of their exclusives too...


And that's it! Thanks for reading, and here's to another exciting month to come. TTFN.

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