Monday, 12 August 2019

MONTH IN REVIEW: June 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!

As mentioned in previous months, I've also struck up a bit of a relationship with the wonderful chaps at showzstore.com, 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.



NEW REVEALS THIS MONTH
Before we get into the stuff that I actually collected this month, let's look at a couple of new reveals...

TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-47 Hound

We'd seen pictures of the upcoming Masterpiece Hound a few times before, but now we have the official stock photography of the finalised version of the toy we can finally appreciate him in all his glory! He really looks magnificent, having captured the early hero of the G1 cartoon in stunning detail. I'm all in for that wonderful jeep mode and those accessories are looking like great fun too! There're still some concerns about floating necks and the like, but I'm pretty sure that come game time TakTom will have this one nailed. Can't wait.



TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-48 Lio Convoy

Oh, and how's this for a leftfield reveal? Lio Convoy is one of those fan-favourite 'bots that we previously thought we could only dream of seeing recreated in Masterpiece form, but now it seems all bets are off when it comes to which characters could be chosen for the treatment next. LC himself is looking stunning, with a high degree of anime-accuracy right down to the way the lion's head transforms between modes. I'm particularly looking forward to this one, having already made way since the reveal by selling on my Perfect Effect take on the character. I can't wait to see him lined up with MP-38 Convoy!





THIS MONTH'S GALLERIES





X-Transbots MM-VIII G2 Arkose

I picked up the original X-Transbots Arkose back in early 2016 and mostly enjoyed him as a toy in spite of some QC issues. Well, I'm a sucker for a G2 repaint and absolutely knew I had to have this "improved" version in that wonderful sparkly green! Just look at the lad.


As it turns out, yes, XTB have made some very welcome corrections to the mould, meaning that it's an altogether better experience this time around. And oh my, how well does he line up with other Masterpiece-styled G2 figures? More of this kind of thing, please.

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






X-Transbots MX-XVI Overheat

First, Crackup, then Flipout and now, Overheat. That's three down, two to go from the X-Transbots not-Stunticons! This has been a fun journey thus far, and fortunately the third instalment does not disappoint.


I was actually a little nervous about this guy, as there've been more than a couple of reports of damage online. Fortunately though, my copy seems to be absolutely perfect, and I've enjoyed messing with him quite a bit. That transformation definitely takes a bit of getting used to and isn't as fluid or as simple as the previous two entries in this series, but it's still not too bad once you've got your head around it. I'm absolutely buzzing to finish this line-up and assemble Monolith now!

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





Hasbro G1 Action Masters (1990-1)

Hey, remember last month when I said there'd be more Action Masters? Well here we go! Wahey! In fact I picked up such a plethora of these lads this month that I'm now coming towards the end of my run, having very nearly assembled a complete set. I think I have... *counts fingers* just five left to go! Oh, and I'm definitely running out of room.


Anyway, this month saw me picking them up from a few different sources, including a couple of the remaining European exclusives like Tracks, Powerflash, Bombshell and Take-Off. Tracks in particular is an absolute delight, perhaps slightly helped by how much I like the character!


So yes, they may not be to everyone's tastes, but I can honestly say this is the most fun I've had collecting vintage Transformers in a while! And that really is saying something! Now check out this merry lot.




Turbo Master and Double Punch

Hasbro G1 Action Master Elites - Double Punch & Turbo Master(1991)

In addition to the regular Action Masters I collected this month, I also managed to track down my first two Elites. For those not in the know, these were European-exclusive toys from 1991, after the Transformers line had ended in the USA. Since then they've become notoriously hard to find, especially complete and in good condition, so these were definitely a couple of minor grails for me. Turbo Master is in especially great condition, but both of them are looking mighty fine!


But wait? They're non-transformable Transformers that can transform? Why, yes they are, and they also feature an action gimmick which is initiated by pressing a lever. These gimmicks are very often not working or broken entirely, so again, it can be exceedingly hard to fine these lads in good nick. Consider me very happy!





TF Dream Factory GOD-11

Revenge of the Fallen was essentially no-one's favourite live-action TF film, but still most people at least remember the forest fight sequence pretty fondly! Well, I was hovering over picking up one of the ROTF OSKO Megatron options for a while before finally settling on this guy over the Black Mamba alternative. As soon as he arrived I knew I'd made the right choice, as he looks superb lined up next to the likes of official MPM toys and 3P stand-ins, and he's really nicely finished. That face!


The tank mode might be slightly iffy, but then it does exactly what it needs to in order to replicate the character's on-screen appearance, so you can't blame the toy there. Otherwise there's a lot to like, and I've had great fun putting this guy through his paces. Another win from TF Dream Factory then!

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





G1 Minibots (1984-2003)

Well, this was an exciting one! Ever since I was little I've wanted a G1 Cliffjumper. As I was a bit too young when the line started in 1984 I massively missed out at the time, and so it's taken me until now to correct that, but boy I couldn't be happier! Just look at this pre-rub beauty!


I also by chance picked up a couple of other Minibot variants, including the 2002 Botcon exclusives Glyph, Tap-Out and Rook, as well as the 2003 black chase variants of the keychain releases of Bumblebee and Windcharger. Now I just need to pick up the black Cliffjumper and Brawn and then I'll have the set. Anyway, I've very much been enjoying my Minibot-madness this month!





Perfect Effect PE-DX09B Psychro Knight

It's funny how exciting some toys can be even though they're a repaint of another figure that you already know really well. So it was with Psychro Knight, who I couldn't wait for despite already very familiar with Mega Doragon! Fortunately, I was not disappointed, as this figure looks stunning beyond belief in either red or blue, and this time it comes with the added bonus of extra faces to give it a very different personality.


The robot face is indeed meant to resemble Megatron's appearance in the Beast Machines cartoon, but make no mistake this is all Cryotek. I had the original toy until only a couple of years ago, so it's great to have this modern homage to him filling the ranks.


Regular readers will know I put the original version of this mould on my top ten of 2018 so I guess it's no surprise that I've been enjoying it so much, eh? If anything, it was a perfect opportunity to be reminded what a fantastic design it really is.

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





Wei Jiang Steel Claw

It's been a journey, but finally here's the fifth member to complete the set of Wei Jiang's KO Predacons! As with the other members of this team, the changes are minimal but definitely welcome when it comes to filling in the hollows spots on the arms and legs etc. However as before I do think that they could have dug a little deeper with the design and made some real revisions to create something truly impressive, and I also think the face on this guy is again not as distinct as the official version (which is a weird thing to say about a 'bot with a faceplate, but there you go). Still, for anyone on a budget there's no denying how tempting this lot will be, and it's fun to see them now fully combined in the impressive gestalt mode.

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




Circuit and Rumbler

Hasbro G1 Action Master Exo Suits (1991)

Hold up, more Action Masters? Why, yes! Having already talked about the regular lads and their Elite counterparts, now it's time for a couple of Exo Suit chaps. These two Autobot Exo Suit toys are both just so wonderfully wacky and colourful, but also very hard to come by in such fabulously minty condition. Rumbler especially is one of those toys that is very prone to breakage, most notably the soft mace weapons that you'll see on his front wheels, so it was a find indeed to get them both complete, intact and in tip-top nick.


If you've read last month's entry you'll know I've only just picked up their Decepticon equivalents too, so it was a definite surprise on my part to be able to complete the line-up so quickly, but sometimes that's the way it goes. These are toys that I have been curious about since I first discovered they existed decades ago, so to have them in my line-up is a treat indeed. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them!




STUFF FOR NEXT MONTH
The Action Master content will be dramatically reduced next time, I'm afraid, but there'll be at least another Stunticon!




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


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