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Everything posted by Maz

  1. Some collector interviews I have been waiting for patiently for a long time, knowing the content and imagery would be worth it. When I returned to the hobby in 2011 I noticed a few vintage enthusiasts who had managed to assemble exquisite collections and get themselves quite well known for it in the community, as well as becoming an inspiration for others in their quest for perfection. Hyperoptic is one of those collectors, and in addition to his G1 collection, he has a lovely story or two to tell from his time working on Transformers videogames. It also goes to show that differing opinions on the merits of various Transformers eras need not cause a lack of kinship, as my own friendship with Hyperoptic has proven. While it is a shame that my return to increased involvement in the hobby coincides with his 'retirement' from active collecting, it is my pleasure to bring you his interview... Collector Interview 38 – Hyperoptic | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  2. Official Transformers toys are released in most of the world by Hasbro, and in Japan by Takara Tomy, formerly Takara. Takara, a Japanese toy manufacturer, produced the first toys that would become Transformers in Japan in the early 1980s. Hasbro saw these Diaclone and Micro Change Series toys and licensed them, creating the Transformers brand. Today, both companies perpetuate the toy line, but is it true to say that Takara (Tomy) Transformers toys are regularly better than Hasbro releases? This is the question we asked a number of collectors this week, and their contributions can be found below. The Takara Version | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  3. In less than one year, vastly improved 3rd party company Unique Toys have started and completed a combiner project. With the upcoming release of the fourth and fifth members of Ordin (Abominus), UT will give Transformers collectors their first unofficial group of Terrorcons to stand beside either their Combiner Wars toys or other unofficial behemoths such as MMC’s Feral Rex or Maketoys’ Quantron. Extra-Ordin-Ary – and Complete | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  4. DX9, the alter ego of Unique Toys, take another swing at a Transformers Masterpiece-scaled robot with D06 Carry, a toy paying homage to the Autobots’ post-Optimus leader, Rodimus Prime. DX9 have been doing very well of late, their Invisible figure was superb, Chigurh was a recent favourite of mine, their War in Pocket line is blossoming and now they take a hugely ambitious stab at an all-in-one Generation 1 styled Rodimus Prime, inspired by the anime stylings of Japanese art group Studio Ox. Keep Calm and Carry On | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  5. We have recently floated the possibility that we are experiencing another golden age of Transformers collecting, and a majority seemed to agree with us that the live action Transformers movies have been good for the health of the brand. With so much choice available, the topic of choosing my purchases has never been far from this blog and the articles seen in the last year. Being that I feel a bit less of a newbie to the 3rd party scene now, and considering how much of the new official product I have tried, I decided to have a think about who I feel is winning the battle for my funds. Who’s Winning? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  6. Were the live action Transformers movies directed by Michael Bay good or bad for Transformers? That’s the question that I put to a number of respected collectors and community members, and not just in regards to Transformers toys, but the general health of the brand and the people who now count themselves as fans. Four movies in, and everyone has an opinion on how the Transformers movies have affected our hobby. Significantly, though, a whole host of people outside our hobby have an opinion too, one of the most noticeable outcomes of the big screen exposure afforded Transformers today. Were The Movies Good For Transformers? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  7. Another first for the Interview slot on TFSource Blog, our first collector from Mexico! Eduardo ''Lalo'' Cardenas has an extensive boxed G1 collection as well as the kind of Mexican variant gems you would expect, which adds to the mystery as to why there aren't more high profile Mexican Transformers given their treasured vintage variant history. Eduardo takes us through his history with Transformers, the plight of the collector in Mexico and a few interesting tales from his time in the hobby. Collector Interview 37 – Eduardo Cardenas | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  8. One of the nicest discoveries I’ve made since embracing modern Transformers lines in recent years are the Transformers Collector’s Club exclusives. Not all of them have appealed to me, but since finding some deluxe class gems in the Revenge of the Fallen, Animated, Prime and Beast Hunters lines, and then completing the repaint list for each, I’ve come to appreciate their TFCC counterparts. Last year, Matt posted an article on his top 10 TFCC figures, now I’m going to share my favourites. While this might be something of a touchy subject with unfortunate timing due to issues with BotCon registration currently, I am focusing purely on the toys. Club Rules | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  9. Is this the golden age of Transformers? While it's tempting to look at years gone past and recall the good old days, we might actually be better off as fans and collectors now than we ever have been. If we consider the toys that are available to us, to our children, the new media we have access to and the people who we can share it with, have we ever had it so good? If someone stepped into the hobby today, would they be missing out particularly on the treasures of the past in terms of community atmosphere, events or toys? Is This The Golden Age? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  10. And just like that, she’ got your attention. Mastermind Creations have just released the next two female Warriors in their Reformatted line, R-09 Eupatorium (Elita-1) and R-10 Salvia Prominon (Solus Prime). These two join mould mates Azalea, Zinnia, Stealth Azalea, and Asterisk Mode Azalea in homaging the Fembots from Generation 1 Transformers lore, mostly. There’s no doubt who the eye-catcher is in the Salvia-Eupa pairing, but both figures have their strengths. The question is, in a line that has given us four versions of the same mould thus far, is there enough reason to add a couple more? The Ancress and the Warrior – MMC R-09 & R-10 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  11. Representing a country that is not often associated with Transformers traditionally, Polish collector Marcin Starzomski gives us his account of how Transformers found their way into his life. Not quite early Generation 1 or modern era, Marcin’s history is somewhat different to many and so are his opinions on what some would consider the current golden age of Transformers collecting and fiction. With vintage, custom, 3D-printed and KO Transformers standing side by side, this is a very special and unusual collection, equal parts nostalgic and progressive. Collector Interview 36 – Marcin Starzomski | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  12. What will happen to our toys when we die? This is a question that numerous collectors have asked themselves and each other throughout this age of adult collecting. Inevitably, as the original generation of Transformers children and collectors starts moving into their 40s and later, thoughts start turning to the twilight of our lives and what will become of the tonnes of plastic we have amassed. This is understandable as everyone must at some stage decide what happens to their most beloved possessions, and as is the case with many Transformers collections, their financially or physically significant possessions. So, again, what will happen to our Transformers when we die? All Our Toys | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  13. There’s a difference between fake or counterfeit Transformers that are meant to fool collectors into thinking they are buying official product and a bootleg that is immediately distinguishable from a Hasbro or Takara figure. While both are intended to profit from and take unlicensed advantage of the Transformers brand and its supporters, some collectors can find themselves quite drawn to particular knockoffs. This week I’ll highlight a few that have stood out to me as being more than just fakes. In Good Kompany | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  14. Surely about 5 years ago, something like this would have been completely inconceivable? A high quality transformers product created by a new company, completely unaffiliated with the official manufacturers and based entirely on an original character created for an official Transformers comic by a fanfic writer who made it and illustrated by a fan artist who made it. If Mastermind Creations Cynicus is not worthy of “For the fans, by the fans”, I don’t know what is. Based on the IDW More Than Meets The Eye original Decepticon Justice Division character “Vos”, MMC’s Cynicus takes the vision of James Roberts with the visual execution of Alex Milne and gives it form. The DJD’s newest member has a toy. MMC Cynicus – An Original Creation | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  15. Optimus Prime! Transforms from tractor trailer to robot with headquarters and back. That’s the whole point of Transformers, figures that can be converted between modes. While the process of going between configurations is an important one, we can often attach more importance to factors such as appearance, scale, accessories, aesthetics, posability and the like. But this week, I will be listing my personal top 5 transformation sequences across all the official Hasbro and Takara Tomy Transformers toys that I have had the pleasure of experiencing. While I accept that my personal experience will automatically exclude entire categories of Transformers like Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Generation 2, much of Car Robots, TF Prime, Unicron Trilogy, Machine Wars etc, I have faith that any reader will understand that I cannot have owned every Transformer ever, and that my own circumstances have forced prioritised buying and collecting as well as periods of non-collecting upon me. Therefore all will hopefully accept this as nothing more than the opinion of one fan, enthusiast and collector. Top 5 Transformations | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  16. Whenever you see discussions about the best Transformers from a particular line or era, over a big enough sample, you can see patterns emerging and the same figures can rise to the top of most collectors’ lists. Once in a while, a certain Transformers toy, concept or aesthetic will be loved by many, and disliked by a few. Inspired by a fascinating thread on TFW2005 started by user NotRamjet97 called ”Unpopular Toy Opinions”, I thought I’d stick my neck out this week and share some of my own feelings on certain figures that might be considered scandalous in today’s scene. Unpopular Opinions | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  17. I would normally take issue with interviewing a Transformers collector who won't reveal his full name, but if you've spent any time around G1 Transformers forums in recent years or TFW2005 generally, you'll know Brad "Th0r4z1n3" B from his legendary seeker-focused collecting or his status as an ex-moderator of that gigantic Transformers forum, so I've no doubt you'll be able to put a face to a name and personality. Brad's collecting and displays represents a direction that my collection could easily have taken on many occasions during my time in the hobby, so it's fascinating to see someone actually achieve the dream, and then tell you what comes next. Over to Brad... Collector Interview 35 – Brad B | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  18. I should probably apologise for that click-bait title, but it does represent the topic of this article quite well. It’s impossible to go one year on an active Transformers forum without seeing at least one discussion about the rarest Transformers of all time. Rarity, however, comes in many shapes and sizes, some of which I respect and others that I don’t. The very definition of rare is hard to pin down in a collecting context, does it refer to elusive sightings? How many people own a particular toy? How few were produced? Rarity that was contrived or circumstantial? The discussion always ends the same, with a rainbow of differing opinions and disagreements. Fifty Shades of Rare | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  19. What did you hope and dream for when it came to a set of modern day high end G1 inspired Dinobots? Did you hope that Takara Tomy would follow Masterpiece MP-8 Grimlock up with the rest of the crew, all equally engineered to a high quality and representing toy and cartoon faithfully? You may have had enough of waiting and thrown your hat into the 3rd Party ring where we find FansToys and their Iron Dibots, or GigaPower and their Gigasaurs. So far FansToys have given us FT-04 Scoria (Slag) and FT-05 Soar (Swoop), all gorgeous, die cast, chrome-soaked and screen accurate to various degrees. Do you now have high hopes for FT-06 Sever (Snarl) to reach those same heights and surpass or are your dreams of a complete set of Masterpiece-style Dinobots/Dibots in danger of severance? FT-06 Sever – High Hopes or Severed Dreams? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  20. Right, we’ve looked at what has been released in the Transformers Masterpiece range over the last year and a bit in Part 1 and Part 2, now – with one notable exception that cannot be mentioned – we are going to have a look at what’s coming next. Masterpiece fan poll winner MP-24 Star Saber, MP-21G Bumble G2 version and MP-25 Tracks take the spotlight this week, proving that if 2014 demonstrated a run of strong form for Masterpiece, 2015 is going to consolidate and excel. Masterpiece – They’ve Got Form (Part 3) | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  21. That’s right, I didn’t pre-order Masterpiece MP-22 Ultra Magnus. Thankfully, Masterforce.co.uk and Orbital Comics came to my rescue in the UK and I was able to get my hands on one, which is just as well because he sold out sharpish and is only going to go up in price as all Masterpiece seem to do when they’ve been spoken for. Like a number of collectors I spoke to, I was put off by the pre-release imagery of Ultra Magnus, that red bumper, the buttflap and general bulky silhouette which looked most inelegant. The whole point of this article series starting with last week’s Part 1, though, is to show how Takara Tomy have been hitting form with Masterpiece and how each release seems to top the previous one. I should have known Magnus would be superb, and I see a repeat situation with the upcoming MP-24 Star Saber. Masterpiece - They've Got Form (Part 2) | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  22. Takara Tomy and Transformers Masterpiece have been knocking it out of the park recently, actually, for quite some time. Despite 3rd party companies beginning to converge aggressively on the Masterpiece scale and aesthetic, filling apparent holes in our collections that TT supposedly will not get to for years, the official stuff is as popular as ever and arguably getting better. From back in early 2014 with G2 Lambor, Silverstreak and Soundblaster & Ratbat, conceding that most of the popular stuff was focused towards the end of 2014, Wheeljack, Bumblebee, Ultra Magnus and Skywarp have sent Masterpiece stratospheric. With Star Saber, Exhaust and Tracks around the proverbial corner, it seems set to continue in the same vein. Masterpiece – They’ve Got Form (Part 1) | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  23. One day, should I move on from Transformers collecting, writing, hobbying and all related activities, I will have memories. Memories of my favourite figures, the best conventions and stories, and the people I met during my tenure in the fandom. People and things will stand out because they were unique, unforgettable and awesome. Jon “Napalm” Strong will be one of those people. Unconstrained by focus, bandwagons or what people think of him, Jon is an inspirational person and collector. So modest and humble was his response to being interviewed, I almost wish you could see the true Napalm! Collector Interview 34 – Jon Strong | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  24. I didn’t know I needed a Masterpiece-scale Astrotrain. Most of us probably didn’t really, and were happy to wait for Takara Tomy to sort us out somewhere in the next 5 years. With the choice of DX-9′s ”Chigurh” seen here or ToyWorld’s ”Evila Star”, I suspect a third choice of ”neither” to be just as prevalent. That is no slight on the quality or brilliance of the two Not-Astrotrains currently offered, just that if one doesn’t fit you or your collection well seeing as how both companies have gone in very different directions, there’s no obligation to pick one or the other. Interesting, then, that as someone who was not fussed about either Astrotrain before, I ended up very fond of Chigurh and very interested in Evila Star too. For now, here’s DX-9′s divisive effort. Chigurh – The MP Astrotrain? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  25. I’ll admit, after receiving Tigris and being able to form the mighty Feral Rex as a modern update of the fully combined Predaking, I felt as though MMC’s Feralcon project had been completed. I knew Felisaber was due, and that he was integral to the Battle For Moritorus story line accompanying the Reformatted line of 3rd Party figures, but he wasn’t an original Predacon and thus purely an added bonus to increase the playability and interactivity of the set. Based on the Pretender beast Catilla, R-07 Felisaber, the Mercenary Surveillant, is a re-tooled version of Tigris and therefore nowhere near as anticipated as the other Feralcons. But then the figure arrived, and I understood. Felisaber & The New King | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
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