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Everything posted by Maz

  1. I would like to think that all of us can point to at least one example of how the Transformers toy line, shows or comics have improved our lives. Whether it has been through the happiness of meeting like-minded enthusiasts or the ownership of excellent toys, the enjoyment of well-written comics or admiration of tremendous artwork, surely we can all point to some aspect of the brand and hobby which brings us happiness. I would like to think if you’re reading this, it’s because of a choice you have made to give part of your time to the hobby. I think it’s fair to say that over the course of the last 5 years, most of the above has been discussed either by myself or by our contributors, and the joy of Transformers is not an uncommon topic on forums or social media either. I myself have made reference to the wonderful UK pub gatherings that came to be about 3 years ago and have brought a valuable extra dimension of enjoyment to the hobby for me. My enthusiasm for the toys and the brand generally should be evidenced in many years of online articles and participation in the Transformers fan community. I certainly cannot count myself as unique when it comes to the great friends I have made as a result of the hobby, either, so what’s this article all about, then? What Have Transformers Done For Me? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  2. Last week we discussed some of the finest official Hasbro and Takara Transformers toy headsculpts with the help of fellow collectors. This week we look at some of the standout headsculpts from unofficial 3rd party Transformers toys. While there may not be as much to choose from, and arguably 3P companies often fail to scale the heights official figures do when it comes to headsculpts, some companies really know how to nail a character. PLEASE keep in mind that only 5 members of the entire global Transformers community have contributed to this article, it is not meant to be a top 5 of the best 3P headsculpts, just 5 people's opinions, a tiny cross section. Just something to read and think about, and hopefully enjoy. This in no way invalidates your own opinion or requires a "how does this article not include XYZ". Just sayin' :) Headsculpts – 3rd Party | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ Huge thanks to Jetbolt, Sixo, HQT and Hardreturn for contributions. All the best Maz
  3. A head sculpt can make or break a figure. Some of the nicest overall Transformers figures I have are occasionally let down by a weak head sculpt that is either too vague in its features, unrepresentative of the character it is supposed to be or just plain unpleasant. On the other hand, certain figures of an average nature can be elevated by a superb head sculpt which scores highly on the aforementioned criteria and exudes charm and character. This week I asked a few of my esteemed Transformers collecting peers to contribute their favourite official Transformers head sculpt across any era or sub-line, and explain why they chose it above the rest. Headsculpts | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  4. Transformers from Cybertron, binary bonded to Nebulans of Nebulos! In 1988 the ‘Masters continued to come thick and fast with smaller Headmasters, smaller Targetmasters and the introduction of the Powermasters. Hasbro decided to integrate the ‘Masters gimmick even further into the Transformers concept by making the Nebulan activate the transformation of the bigger figure via the Powermaster ‘engine’. In addition to Hasbro’s 3 Powermaster cars and the return of Optimus Prime as a Powermaster, the Decepticons got 2 jets that combined (Darkwing and Dreadwind), as well as a double Powermaster in Doubledealer. This week we take a look at Powermaster Optimus Prime, Slapdash, Joyride and Getaway, the 1988 Autobot Powermasters. 1988 Autobot Powermasters | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  5. What could be better than owning a wonderful Transformers toy? That’s right, multiples of that toy! Of course not everybody subscribes to that philosophy, in fact a majority are probably happy to own one version of each toy. A great deal of collectors won’t even bother with variants of a mould, let alone precise duplicates. There are even those who will not touch repaints/retools of a mould, one specimen satisfying their desire to experience a given toy sculpt. But what of those who do find pleasure in buying multiples of the same figure, when the reason is not a particular variation in moulding, appearance, packaging or accessories? Multiples | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  6. Once upon a time there was a Diaclone, not just exclusive in colour and country, but also retailer. Its existence was questioned by all and sundry until proven beyond a reasonable doubt. A legendary Japanese collector teased enthusiasts across many lands with wordless images and scattered hints. The truth did surface, the world did learn, but a mere four specimens have ever been found boxed. Few they may be, but fully documented they have been. The 1984 Takara Diaclone Corvette Stingray was released in black and grey colours only in Finland as an R-Kioski retailer exclusive for a short time. While the 2002 Takara reissue lucky draw Black Tracks loosely referenced that Diaclone, it wasn’t until 2016 and the Tokyo Toy Show exclusive Masterpiece MP-25L Destron Sonic Sapper Loudpedal that Finland’s legendary gem was paid proper official tribute. This could be the best Masterpiece toy homage we’ve ever had. MP-25L Loudpedal – Best Toy Homage | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  7. Flying under the radar as if on a special ops mission, Jason "Logik" L's incredible vintage Transformers collection mimicks the function of his beloved Autobot Agent Jazz. Having spent a great deal of his youth working hard to create the veritable museum that he now curates, Jason has employed a large amount of focus to achieve his dream collection. Jason has also applied his specific display and collecting philosophy to the Japanese G1 era as well as G2 and European G1. A very well-liked and positive member of the Transformers online community, it's my pleasure to present Jason L as our fiftieth featured collector! Collector Interview 50 – Jason “Logik” L | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  8. The Titans have indeed returned. And by that I mean Headmasters, generally. Hasbro and TakaraTomy have moved from battling 3rd parties on the combiners front to challenging them on the 1987/88 Headmasters front, with even traditionally non-HM characters getting the ”Titan Master” treatment. Wave 1 consists of deluxe class Hardhead, Blurr, Scourge and Skullsmasher (Skullcruncher), leader class Blaster and Powermaster Optimus Prime, voyager class Galvatron and Sentinel Prime, titan class Fortress Maximus, legends class Rewind, Stripes and Wheelie as well as Titan Masters Crashbash (Squeezeplay head), Terri-Bull (Horri-Bull head), Loudmouth (Siren head) and Nightbeat’s head. I’ll be focusing on my purchases from wave 1, how my initial excitement turned to disappointment and instant sales, which then became seller’s remorse and a change of heart. Change Of Heart (Titans Return) | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  9. Halfway through 2016 and it’s looking like that old chestnut ”best year for Transformers and 3rd Party toys” is once again being bandied about. Rightfully so, I can’t quite believe the quality of product we have enjoyed thus far, and that’s just up to June with Titans Return about to hit worldwide. I have had more difficulty maintaining a provisional top 5 purchases list for the year than ever before. So much so that I may go for an end of year top 10 purchases instead, or a separate list for official and unofficial figures. Do keep in mind that my end of year lists are only ever made up of figures I have been fortunate enough to receive samples of or purchase myself. If I don’t collect a particular line, then don’t expect to see it appear on my list(s) as I’ve not had the opportunity to give it a fair whack. Combiner Wars, Generations, the many 3rd party Constructicons – all fall under that category unfortunately. So, if you can suspend your outrage that this article will focus purely on my own purchases (and therefore preferences), here’s what I think has shone the brightest so far in 2016. Half Term Report | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  10. Ocular Max have had a very successful start to life as a Mastermind Creations sub-brand. The Masterpiece-style Perfection Series and the Remix line have been well received with figures PS-01 Sphinx and RMX-01 Jaguar taking plaudits for quality, design and aesthetics. While not everyone agrees with the apparent melding of cartoon, toy and Studio Ox vision that Ocular Max are going for, it’s fair to say they’re on a roll. The newest mould aimed at filling a (short-lived) Masterpiece gap is PS-03 Backdraft, based on the original heroic transforming fire truck. With competition already established in the form of MakeToys MTRM Hellfire, together with upcoming releases from TakaraTomy Transformers Masterpiece and KFC/XTB Dante, Backdraft’s got a lot of work to do in convincing people to go unofficial – specifically Ocular Max – with a confirmed official release on the horizon. Ocular Max PS-03 Backdraft | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  11. Masterpiece Transformers, Diaclone V2, 3rd Party Masterpiece-style figures, 3rd Party IDW-style figures, Generations figures, Titans Return, Robots In Disguise, Transformers Adventure. There is no shortage of Transformers-related toys coming out right now, and that’s just the brand new shiny, nevermind older figures that one may wish to seek out and add. Very few have the budget to manage all of their collection needs and wants in the face of such a product onslaught as official and unofficial sources vie for our attention. Inevitably, collectors are forced to sell toys in order to fund newer purchases. This week we asked our contributors to look at why it can be so difficult to sell our Transformers. Selling Toys Is Hard | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  12. Diaclone was launched in Japan by Takara in 1980, the same year I was born. And that’s where my childhood association with Diaclone ends, as growing up in the UK it was primarily Transformers that had my attention. Trickles of Diaclone-based figures did reach the UK but in London I saw neither sight nor sound of them. In addition to Japan and Asia, countries like France, Italy, Holland, Germany and some Scandinavian territories had Diaclone toys on shelves. Like many current Diaclone fans outside of Asia, my access to it came via Transformers and the exploration of their origins (and ancestral variants) within Diaclone and other such pre-Transformers toy lines. With the 30th anniversary of the line passing seemingly without a sound, it was a wonderful and unexpected surprise to see TakaraTomy announce a reboot of Diaclone in 2015, and the first figure from that line has just seen release. This is the magnificent DA-01 Dia-Battles V2 and its co-release, the more limited DA-01EX Dia-Battles V2 Prototype. The Return Of Diaclone – Dia-Battles V2 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  13. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since he agreed, I know you have too. So here it is, Thew’s Awesome TFSource Collector Interview (interthew?)!! Matthew Adams has become well loved and well known in the Transformers community thanks to his unique, entertaining and justifiably-named ”awesome” YouTube reviews. In this interview, Thew’s responses channel that same infectious energy, positivity and delirious love he has for Transformers that you’ve come to expect from him on YT. From an epic Skywarp shelf to a gallery of gifted beauties, Thew takes us through his eclectic mix of lines and styles. Collector Interview 49 – Matthew “Thew” Adams | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  14. Unique Toys and their alter ego DX9 are developing a solid reputation for getting triplechanging transforming characters right for the most part. While they don’t always nail all modes, chances are you’ll get a very high quality, enjoyable figure which displays beautifully in at least 2 modes out of 3. Their Provider, Chigurh and Gewalt are all superb figures that we have reviewed here and thoroughly enjoyed. Now they’ve taken a shot at one of the heroic variety, with Y-03 Sworder representing the 1986 triplechanger hero whose orange, yellow and black colours have become his identity. Unique Toys Y-03 Sworder | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  15. DX9 have developed a reputation for producing very good-looking, high quality and enjoyable Masterpiece-scale transforming figures that bring them more fans with every subsequent release. Having grabbed attention with their Invisible car robot figure as first to market at MP scale, they followed it up with the brilliant Chigurh, exceptional Carry and popular Tyrant. Now they tackle yet another triplechanger, one who they could not afford to make a mess of with KFC’s Ditka looking as pretty as it does. How have they fared with one of the original two evil triplechangers, the one they call D-08 ”Gewalt”? DX9 D-08 Gewalt | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  16. For some time now I’ve wanted to introduce more diversity into our collector interviews, but of course that depends on the responses we get, and seeing the many high end vintage collections in our features so far can deter some from contributing. Not so Marian Hilditch. It’s with great pleasure that this month we feature someone whose path into the hobby does not follow the oft-described vintage route. Although Marian has a relationship with G1 Transformers, it was IDW’s Transformers comics that gave her access to Transformers toy collecting. In addition to being a phenomenal photographer and regular podcast contributor, Marian has a very specific theme for her TF collection based on her interests. Marian’s passion for IDW-based comic characters shines through in her exploits online, her excellence behind the lens and her words below. Collector Interview 48 – Marian Hilditch | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  17. Pandinus review is finally done! MakeToys MCB-03 Pandinus | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  18. Yeah absolutely, an option I think which is a direct result of the variety of product available to us/we are drowning in ;) All the best Maz
  19. Remember back when if you wanted a character in the Transformers universe as a toy in your collection, chances were that you had a single choice for that toy? You either made do with what you were given for Broadside, or you went without. Or you made your own. Nowadays, with multiple aesthetics, scales and companies in the mix, one can be decidedly more picky about which representation of a Transformers character they settle on for their collection. Even if there’s nothing presently on the horizon, the current state of the scene encourages patience. Or does it? We ask our contributors this week if due to the increased amount of Transformers product, are they much happier to pass on something that isn’t perfect compared to the past? Is ‘good enough’ not good enough any more? Good Enough | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  20. I knew Sean Meece as the Beast Wars guy, or the outdoor Transformers photo guy. With a seemingly endless array of incredible outdoor locations, both natural and man-made at his disposal, Sean has rapidly become known online for sharing great photos of his vast and varied collection whilst on his travels. I first became aware of Sean thanks to his excellent Beast era Transformers collection that he showcased on TFW2005, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him better over the last year, at the same time appreciating the depth and passion he has in his collecting. A huge supporter of my own work and an genuine Transformers fan, I now know Sean as that excellent photographer guy whose passion and admirable attitude towards the hobby is something we could all aspire to. Collector Interview 47 – Sean Meece | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  21. Masterpiece Laserwave, Ramjet and Ratchet are here (mostly). The line has obviously evolved not just from where it started in 2003 with MP-1, the ultimate expression of a G1 Optimus Prime, but also since the reboot of MP-10 Convoy. Different designers from the same team have been allowed to make their mark on the flagship Transformers toy series, and the MP offerings in 2016 have pleased some more than others. We’ve already looked at MP-27 Ironhide and MP-28 Hot Rodimus in detail on this blog, so this week allows us a brief look at Ramjet, Ratchet and Laserwave, examining some pros and cons of each figure. Masterpiece 2016 – Flawed Beauties? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  22. In 1986, the writers of the animated Transformers movie might have slaughtered a gallery of fan favourite characters, but they also introduced the likes of Hot Rod, Springer, Arcee, Ultra Magnus, Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge and Unicron who have all become extremely popular. In fact, one could argue that Hot Rod, Cyclonus and Scourge – along with Blurr and Kup – were so popular that Hasbro felt the need to re-release those Generation 1 figures again in 1987 as Targetmasters. So, they are in a way the first Transformers reissues. Having already looked at the new-for-87 characters that became Targetmasters (Autobots and Decepticons), this week we look at Targetmaster Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr, the 1987 Autobot Movie Targetmasters. 1987 Autobot Movie Targetmasters | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  23. One of the dangers of becoming very involved in a hobby or pastime, for those who invest in it more than just casually and dedicate a lot of their free (or not!) time to such a pursuit, is burnout. The source of such feelings can vary from financial constraints to over-indulgence, or from letting lines of reality become blurred. Someone who collects, discusses, participates and enjoys Transformers is every bit as susceptible to these feelings as a stamp collector or car enthusiast. For me personally, such feelings can arise from all of the above circumstances combined, or any single one in isolation. The result can be an extended period of time away from the hobby, disenchantment with the hobby and the fan community or re-assessment of priorities and time spent indulging in what should have always been an exercise in leisure. Burnout | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  24. TakaraTomy have just announced their latest Masterpiece Transformers addition, MP-14+ Alert Anime Color Edition. Instead of a straight up reissue of Masterpiece Red Alert, TakaraTomy have repainted MP-14 to closer match its on-screen representation in what has been a quite divisive strategy. While some are pleased to be able to get Masterpiece Alert at what they hope will be less than second hand market prices, others are concerned about the implications of this new Anime colour initiative by TakaraTomy. Plus Implications | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
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