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Everything posted by Maz

  1. I did something incredibly stupid recently, I looked up all the figures I had on pre-order across the internet and totaled the amount. I have over $1000 invested in pre-orders for toys that do not even exist currently. Discussion about the pre-order culture that permeates the Transformers fandom is not new, but taking stock of how deeply I had gotten into it myself really shocked me into re-evaluating how I go about buying toys. That re-evaluation resulted in my placing further pre-orders for MakeToys Gundog, Ocular Max Sphinx Alternative and Masterpiece Ramjet. So, instead, I asked a few more sensible and wise folks what their opinion on the New World (Pre-) Order was. New World (Pre-)Order | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  2. Regular and long-time readers of this blog will remember when I could produce a ‘News To Me’ article, reporting on newly discovered vintage Transformers variants or secrets, every few months. It’s been nearly two years since the last article of this type, such has been my shift in collecting focus and the slowdown of finds from the early days of the brand. Finally, though, there have been enough discoveries of note – or rather things I finally learned of – that I can produce another chapter in this series of articles demonstrating that there’s still a mystery or two to be had in vintage collecting. News To Me – 2015 Edition | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  3. The long-awaited MP-25 Masterpiece Tracks from Takara Tomy finally saw release in early November. With various retailers filling orders throughout the world and opinion quite generally divided among collectors as to whether or not the Kobayashi-designed Tracks is up to the same standard as the previous Autobot cars, I decided to feature the new kid on the block this week and give my own opinion on his Masterpiece credentials. The sparkly blue Corvette Stingray, boasting three modes true to his Diaclone and G1 Transformers history, has come in for a fair amount of criticism as well as plenty of adoration. Do collectors have cause to worry about the perceived new direction of the Masterpiece Transformers brand? Is this Kobayashi-designed Car Robot a match for the Hasui-designed predecessors? MP-25 Tracks – A True Masterpiece? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  4. This. Is. Spartan. Mastermind Creations have finally given sections of the Transformers fandom a figure they have been craving for almost 30 years, Impactor. Of course, MMC’s Reformatted R-13 is called ”Spartan” and is based heavily on the IDW design for Impactor, as seen in Chaos Theory and Last Stand Of The Wreckers. Fans of the Marvel UK Transformers comics rejoice, the leader of the Wreckers is finally available in toy form – just ahead of the official Impactor that the official Collector’s Club will offer as a Combiner Wars repaint and in place of the never-released iGear Presser. This Is Spartan | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  5. Meet Godert Walter, a Dutch Transformers fan who has accomplished more than most during his time in the hobby. He’s built Autobot City in a farmhouse, he’s helped create the infamous Trypticon Races, he’s walked into Hasbro’s offices and secured endorsement for the Dutch Transformers conventions he’s helped to conceive and organise. Having walked away from the hobby once and returned, Godert is now extremely particular about how he curates his beautiful Transformers collection, one we can all appreciate for its imagination and ambition, much like the man himself. Collector Interview 42 – Godert Walter | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  6. Mastermind Creations have released a Masterpiece-scaled homage to the Generation 1 Autobot Spy Mirage, and they have done it in the style of celebrated Japanese animation gurus Studio Ox, responsible for so many beautiful illustrations in Television Magazine. Under their Ocular Max (read: Ox) guise, the ”Perfection Series” pulls no punches in registering what its intentions are. PS-01 Sphinx, their Mirage, is the inaugural release. It is perfection indeed, and I surely did fall to my knees. Ocular Max Sphinx – Perfection Indeed | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  7. Collectors will accept and purchase 3rd Party Transformers products for different reasons, maybe to fill gaps in high profile lines like Masterpiece, or just for the ingenuity of unique figures they appreciate. Other enthusiasts will not touch unofficial products that are guilty of intellectual property theft that they believe are harmful to the continued success official product. This week we’ve asked a number of collectors whether they think Hasbro and Takara have an active strategy in place to go after 3rd Party companies, or at least making progress in winning over some of their customers. This is a question that has been discussed more with the recent Hasbro and Takara Tomy Transformers reveals, reveals that seem to have struck at the heart of what direction most 3P companies had been going in. Are Hasbro & Takara Going After 3P Companies? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  8. When Takara created the concept boards for the 1987 Transformers that would eventually become Headmasters and Targetmasters, two of the Decepticons proposed under the “New Direction” of the brand were called simply “Triplechangers”. One was to be a US Air Force F-16 and gorilla, while the other was shown as an SR71 Blackbird and dinosaur. These two Triplechanger figures eventually became what we now know and love as the 1987 Decepticon Headmaster Horrorcons Apeface and Snapdragon, respectively. At the time of those concept boards, the Headmaster gimmick was not in evidence, so these special toys not only incorporate the celebrated Transformers triplechanging feature, but also the Headmaster pilot gimmick that pretty much defines 1987′s “New Direction”. 1987 Decepticon Headmaster Horrorcons | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  9. I have returned to collecting vintage G1 Transformers after many forays into modern Transformers lines. This return coincided with a request from IDW Transformers More Than Meets The Eye writer James Roberts to photograph the Scavengers toys (G1 Misfire, Krok, Crankcase and Spinister) for one panel of issue #45. Having to acquire these toys forced me to see just how much I loved buying and owning G1 toys. A solid 1987 Headmasters and Targetmasters collection has sprouted from that realisation, all packaged with good stickers maintained well by the original childhood owner. Whatever the childhood owner whose toys I bought didn't have, I found elsewhere, but I insisted on maintaining the display and item quality that already existed in the collection I had purchased. G1 Headmaster Horrorcon Apeface has been the hardest regular-size Headmaster to find in excellent condition and packaged. The one below is the second boxed one I bought, but of course the stickers were unapplied. What to do? Square One: Applying Vintage G1 Stickers <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  10. Decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes have been counted in my eternal wait for this character. It took 14 years for the 1989 Japanese exclusive Takara Transformers Victory sixchanger C-325 Greatshot to find its way into my collection in 2015, after a protracted period of longing. When 3rd party company Mastermind Creations revealed then released their Reformatted R-01 Terminus Hexatron interpretation of Decepticon Sixshot, the belief was that a Greatshot repaint was in the works. Despite teaser images, the Greatshot repaint had to wait its turn as MMC worked their way through Terminus Hexatron, Super Nova edition, Dark Emissary and Continuum releases before R-01G Grandus Hexatron got off the ground in earnest a couple of years or so later. Once announcements, production samples and pre-orders had become a reality, the countdown to R-01G’s arrival commenced. Here then is my review of the long-awaited MMC Grandus Hexatron. MMC Grandus Hexatron – The Promised Land | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  11. When you collect Transformers, the beauty of it is that you decide how deep or varied your collection and interests can be. While this can sometimes depend on your circumstances, most of the time it’s probably down to collector preference and taste. Whether it’s devotion to a particular character, series, aesthetic or type of Transformer, there seems to be no limit to how much a collector can diversify. You can buy the supposed high-end prestige version in the Masterpiece line, the vintage version from your childhood or the modern updated mainline representation. Possibly even an unofficial tribute. One can even go beyond the toys and enter the world of merchandise and paperwork, or maybe original art and pre-production material. How Far Can You Take It? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  12. I have only recently had the pleasure of making Duron Land’s acquaintance, but in that short time he has proved himself to be a knowledgeable and well-connected collector, as well as another example of the good people we have in the community. Not only does he host the very popular TFYLP podcast, but he’s also an expert photographer and has become a regular supporter of the TFSource blog and related articles. I’ve had the honour of appearing on the TFYLP podcast, so it was only fitting that Duron lend his experience, knowledge and expertly curated Transformers collection to the Source Blog. Collector Interview 41 – Duron Land | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  13. Thanks to images from K-Hobby and Hobbylog.jp posted last week from the All Japan Model and Hobby Show 2015, we got our first look at all new prototypes for Transformers Masterpiece Shockwave and Hot Rodimus! In addition to the imminent release of Masterpiece Tracks, Road Rage and later Ironhide, Takara Tomy shocked most of the community by dropping major masterpiece news in the shape of Quakewave-challenging Shockwave and a new take on the ever popular Hot Rodimus (Hot Rod). New Masterpiece Reveals | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  14. 1987 was an exceptional year for the Generation 1 Transformers, arguably the best depending on your persuasion. There is an awful lot of justified affection for the Diaclone and Micro Change Series era moulds that Hasbro used throughout 1984 and 1985 (even 1986), but the post animated movie futuristic designs that Hasbro and Takara created purely for The Transformers stand proudly on their own in 1987. From Headmasters to Targetmasters, Sixchangers to the enormous bases and Monsterbots to Clones, Transformers was enjoying a great period. A period that may be even more appreciated today than it was at the time. A few weeks ago we looked at the three 1987 Decepticon non-movie Targetmasters, and this week our gaze falls upon Pointblank, Sureshot and Crosshairs, the 1987 non-movie Targetmaster Autobots. 1987 Autobot Targetmasters | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  15. Unique Toys are at it again, one of the most productive 3rd party companies of the last 12 months – whether it was under the banner of UT or DX9 – are doing Decepticon Triplechanger Octane. Y-01 “Provider” comes hot on the heels of Chigurh, the Triplechanger Astrotrain that DX9 produced earlier this year. With Sandstorm (Sworder) teased just yesterday, this company are not wasting any time nailing down this whole subsection of Generation 1 multi-changers who are yet to be spoken for at Masterpiece scale. Whether or not you agree that Provider is indeed MP scale is another matter, but my gut feeling is that’s what UT were going for with this. High Octane | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  16. A number of weeks ago we discussed what would happen to our Transformers collections when we were no longer around, and some of our contributors said that their toys would go to their children. This week we asked more Transformers collectors how they felt about the prospect of their children (hypothetical or otherwise) collecting Transformers when they become adults. We asked male and female collectors, with and without children. While I expected a fair number of them to say they would be happy to share the hobby with their kids for years to come, I also thought we would have some opposing opinions. That’s not quite how it worked out. Do We Want Our Children To Collect? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  17. Our look at the 1987 range of Generation 1 Transformers continues this week with the three basic Decepticon Headmasters Skullcruncher, Mindwipe and Weirdwolf. While the Autobot Headmasters introduced in the same year were land and air vehicles, the Decepticon counterparts were beasts. 1987 also saw the release of Decepticon Headmaster base Scorponok and Headmaster Horrorcons Apeface and Snapdragon, but we will cover those three in a future article. The plan was originally to release four basic Decepticon Headmasters to face off against the Autobots, but plans for the stingray Decepticon Headmaster were canned. Here then is our look at Skullcruncher the crocodile with Headmaster Grax, Weirdwolf the wolf with Nebulon partner Monzo, and Mindwipe the bat with Headmaster partner Vorath. 1987 Decepticon Headmasters | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  18. Here's my review of the MakeToys Visualizers for anyone interested: Square One: MakeToys MTRM-07 Visualizers (MP Reflector) <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  19. It’s true that a large number of TFSource Collector Interviews over the last year and a half have come from a local group of London-based collectors who meet up regularly, but the fact that within that small group I have found some of the most knowledgeable, well-adjusted people with impressive collections has inspired me to document their opinions, experiences and collections. Such is the diversity within that group, and the UK fanbase, that I feel everyone can benefit from their features. Here, then, is the master of the sprawling Autobot City, keeper of ‘The Loft’, the Legends Class king, Kit Tang. Oh, he was in a Bond film, too. Beat that. Collector Interview 40 – Kit Tang | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  20. FansToys, like BadCube and MMC, are doing the G1 Insecticons. FT-12 Grenadier is the first of FansToys’ Masterpiece-scaled Insecticons and is their version of Bombshell, the evil beetle. Grenadier comes in two versions, one with a purple toy-accurate chest, and one with a grey cartoon accurate chest. The figure itself contains Generation 1 toy and cartoon style parts that are interchangeable. Grenadier is, by my reckoning, a fantastic return to form for FansToys. On That Bombshell | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  21. There are those that specialise in Transformers of a particular era, and others that specialise in figures from particular geographic regions. Some collectors don’t specialise at all, and then you have the ones who specialise primarily in a single character and collect as many versions of the bot as possible. Ben Harpold is one such collector, or at least has become one. His dedication to Bumblebee and all of its incarnations, not to mention merchandise, is staggering. Maybe even more surprising is that once you remove the Bumblebees, what’s left is equally incredible and a stunning collection by itself. Just as there’s more to Ben’s collection than Bumblebee, there’s more to his enjoyment of the hobby than just toys also. Get ready to witness something quite extraordinary… Collector Interview 39 – Ben Harpold | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  22. Four years into the TFSource Blog project and we’re still finding topics to write about weekly. If that in itself is not something to celebrate within Transfandom, then how about taking time in this article to thank all of our loyal readers, supporters and especially the contributors who have made so much of what we do on the site possible. From the ever-popular collector interviews to informative articles on different sections of Transformers history, from brand new official and unofficial product to opinion pieces on the state and mentality of collecting Transformers, here are the top 5 most viewed, read and shared articles from the last 12 months, our fourth year. Best of 2014 / 2015 - Four Years Of Source Articles | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  23. For a while there it seemed that we’d had our last Generation 1 reissues from Hasbro and Takara, Encore Fortress Maximus being quite the final hurrah, but 2015 has seen the return of G1 reissues under Hasbro’s Platinum Edition banner. While most of the toys have already been released, G1 Trypticon was a hugely welcome addition to the reissue ranks and the Decepticon Triplechangers Blitzwing and Astrotrain were recoloured into…well, anyway, we got more reissues! Let’s have a look at what the Platinum Edition releases have brought us so far. Reissue Redux | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  24. It doesn’t seem to matter what character FansToys announce, because of their incredible start to life as a 3rd Party company putting out TF-a-likes with Quakewave and the Iron Dibots, even a character so woefully under-appreciated as Perceptor garnered some solid attention. FT-09 Tesla is their Masterpiece-scaled representation of the Autobot Scientist, and the one I bought from TFSource has arrived. I was not obligated to review this one, it was a purchase purely for my own collection, but I can’t keep my feelings about him to myself FansToys FT-09 Tesla: Perfectceptor | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  25. About 3 years ago we interviewed 3 very active and community-involved Transformers collectors’ wives to find out How The Other Half Live. For my 200th TFSource Blog Article (not counting interviews), I decided to once again ask those closest to me how they viewed my collection of robots. I’ve asked my wife. my three year old daughter, and for a bit of distance, the partner of a very close friend. I’d like to say I am not concerned about how others see my hobby, but having recently discussed the implications of what happens to our toys when we die, I feel as though I have a greater responsibility to those around me to know where they stand with respect to my toys and how it affects them. The growing feeling that I own too many toys that cannot be adequately housed also weighs heavily on my mind, as the pictures in this article will demonstrate with how my place looks currently. Admittedly I asked my daughter for comic value, but I still respect what she had to say. What Do They Think? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
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