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Maz

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Everything posted by Maz

  1. Not all of the collectors we interview here have been head-hunted by reputation or are a result of me convincing a long-time mate to finally give in and share their insight and collection. Occasionally I will put the planned (hah!) schedule of interviews on hold because something so attention-grabbing and amazing comes up that we just have to investigate. Neal Rochman’s collection was one such occurrence, and this slightly later-than-normal feature on another Neil, Mr Dela Cruz, is the same! One look at the following panoramic photograph that was posted on this now-Australian based collector’s Facebook page and I knew he had to be the immediate subject of an interview. Without further ado… Collector Interview 28 – Neil Dela Cruz | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  2. This time last year it would have been completely unthinkable that a Masterpiece Autobot car could come onto the market and fail to create the kind of ripples felt in the collecting pool as items such as MP-12 Lambor, MP-14 Alert, MP-17 Prowl or MP-18 Streak made, but MP-18S Silverstreak’s impact could arguably be described as gentle. It cannot even be attributed to the fact that it was a Tokyo Toy Show exclusive, because last year’s MP-12T Tigertrack seemed to be widely well received. It’s certainly not down to appearance, because in my opinion, MP-18S Silverstreak is the best looking Masterpiece car of the current crop until Wheeljack lands later this month. So what was the problem? The Forgotten Fairlady | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  3. There’s nothing quite like Predaking. He was unique amongst the Generation 1 Transformers combiners and Mastermind Creations managed to capture the same zeal and passion from the collecting community for the Reformatted Feral Rex project as existed for the original G1 Predacons in the hearts of vintage Transformers enthusiasts. Back in 2012, the Feralcons were unveiled by MMC, and two years later collectors are able to put all five members – Bovis, Fortis, Leo Dux, Talon and Tigris – together to form arguably the most hotly anticipated 3rd Party combiner of them all, Feral Rex. Long live the king. The King Is Dead, Long Live The King | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  4. Reformatted R-06 Mercenary Shock Trooper Tigris, the fifth of Mastermind Creations’ Feralcons, is starting to make its way into the wild. With the release of this fifth member of the Feralcon team, collectors can now finally combine the five members to form Feral Rex, MMC’s Predaking-inspired 3rd Party combiner. Bovis, Fortis, Leo Dux, Talon and now Tigris have been – in my opinion – among the most anticipated items in the community, official or otherwise. The Predacons were originally very deeply loved within the G1 Transformers community, so the whole Masterpiece-style combiner project that MMC embarked upon was always going to be met with the greatest scrutiny and held to the highest standard. We need not have worried. And Tigris Makes Five | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  5. I toyed with calling this article “Suck it and see”, as anyone who has been following this blog and my own writing at Square One recently will know that I’ve branched out a bit and continued saying ”yes” to recommendations of fellow collectors instead of staying glued to my own path or focus. Whether it’s because someone placed a toy in my hands and dared me to hate it, or something I have bought or was gifted for my daughter, or just another offshoot of my main collecting interest right now, all those items have had a significant influence on my buying, and these are the results. One Thing Leads To Another | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  6. He was supposed to be first, but he is coming out fourth. Mastermind Creations (or MMC) are about to unleash R-02 Mercenary Aerial Assaulter Talon on the fandom at large, representing their interpretation and considerable update of the Transformers G1 Predacon Divebomb. Talon is the fourth member of Feral Rex (MMC’s Not-Predaking) after R-03 Bovis (Not Tantrum), R-05 Fortis (Not Headstrong) and R-04 Leo Dux (Not Razorclaw). Here we have an advance copy of Talon for your viewing pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, the eagle is landing. The Golden Eagle | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  7. Jim Sorenson is a known entity, but his collection isn’t! This month we take a look at the collecting habits and treasures of a man who has brought behind the scenes treasures to the rest of us in an official capacity through his work on the Transformers Animated Allspark Almanacs, Transformers The Ark, The Art of Prime, as well as the upcoming Transformers Legacy book that will feature tonnes of seen and unseen Transformers production artwork in one amazing volume. It is always fascinating to hear the stories of a collector who never really stopped being a fan or collector of Transformers, someone who was purchasing his first Grand Maximus when I was just realising that a G1 Sharkticon toy was made… Collector Interview 27 – Jim Sorenson | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  8. I keep thinking this series of articles have been put to bed, and that newer Masterpiece or 3rd Party toys can go under a new banner. However, in order to keep these posts more article and less review, I’ve had to come up with a common theme, and the Meeting Expectations series is as appropriate as any to place Mastermind Creations Reformatted R-04 Squadron Commander Leo Dux (MMC Not-Razorclaw) and Mech iDeas Techno Toon Titans TTT-01G Bluster and Trench (Mi Not-Huffer and Not-Pipes in Mario/Luigi colours) into. Meeting Expectations – Part 6 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  9. Every line of Transformers has its toughies and special releases that create a headache for anyone hoping to complete the run, Takara’s Binaltech Transformers are no exception. In fact, it’s taken me a whole year and 2 months to address the sixth chapter of this article series that started all the way back with Binaltech BT-01 to BT-04. The main reason for that was the acquisition, price and rarity of 2007′s Wonderfest exclusive BT-17 Black Convoy. Once that was in hand and opened, alongside the e-Hobby exclusive BT-18 Rijie Electro Disrupter, we have Binaltech royalty, the exclusive cherries that top one of the best and most loved TF lines in history. Binaltech BT-17 to BT-18 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ Previous chapters: Binaltech BT-01 to BT-04 | Source Blog Binaltech BT-05 to BT-08 | Source Blog Binaltech BT-09 to BT-12 | Source Blog Binaltech BT-13 to BT-16 | Source Blog Binaltech: Asterisk BTA-01 to BTA-03 | Source Blog All the best Maz
  10. Sophomore, a second effort. FansToys return to the 3rd Party Transformers scene after the universal success that was FT-03 Quakewave, a toy so revered that it is almost unanimously accepted as the Masterpiece Shockwave and an essential addition to any collection, official or otherwise. After delays and a long build-up, FansToys have released their answer to Masterpiece Dinobots, the FT-04 Scoria from the Iron Dibots series – 3rd Party MP Dinobot Slag to you and me. Just like Quakewave, “Scoria” has become an entity – almost a category – unto itself, for reasons positive and otherwise. Sophomore | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  11. There have always been categories of Transformers, distinguishable by size, complexity and type. As a predominantly vintage collector for years I was very new to the whole uniform hierarchy of figures – or size class – that seem to have originated in the beast era of toys. This week I am looking at some of the deluxe class toys I’ve seen and owned (which admittedly is not very many) and pick out some of what has really impressed. A Class Apart | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  12. The cancellation of Transformers Animated was a tragedy to many collectors and fans, in no small part due to the fact that a fourth season expanding the Animated universe never came to be, meaning the fandom missed out on many characters – and toys – that would have been touched by the genius, freshness and Derrick J Wyatt-inspired style of Transformers Animated. But Animated isn’t the only line to have gaping holes in it that Hasbro and Takara Tomy never filled. Masterpiece, Generations, they’re everywhere. So we turned to 3rd party companies to expand our universes, to fill the gaps, and to give us things that are completely new. That brings us nicely to Mech iDeas, their Techno Toon Titans line and the inaugural releases within that line, TTT-01 “Bluster” and “Trench”. Mech Ideas Bluster and Trench – TF Un-Animated | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  13. I would have waited an eternity for this. Paul Hitchens is one of the most recognisable names (and faces) in the Transformers collecting community, not just because of his numerous and significant contributions to conventions, the community, the discovery and cataloguing of variants, rarities, prototypes and history of Transformers animation, but also as a representative of the community and the brand in various media including TV, DVD, radio, print and publications. He is as well known for being a long time collector and enthusiast as he is for being one of the most reputable and enduring toy dealers in the business, The Spacebridge. Beyond all of these things, he is someone I look up to as a close friend, a father, a level-headed collector and someone I'd ask for advice given just about any situation, collecting or otherwise. It is a credit to him that his interview is probably the most anticipated of any before, and it's a credit to me that I was finally able to get him to agree to it! Because of Paul's long standing in the community, I have asked him to describe how the scene has changed in the last 15 years as opposed to the normal 10 years I ask all interviewees, and it's also why he's the only one allowed to use sub-headings! Bring it, Hitch. Collector Interview 26 – Paul Hitchens | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  14. The law of diminishing returns dictates that beyond a certain point, there is less reward and result for an equal amount of input. In terms of vintage Generation 1 Transformers research and discovery, this basically means that as time goes by, as much as we continue to hunt for variations, exclusives or oddities from different and often obscure parts of the TF universe – or unfamilar parts of the world – there is less chance that we will turn up the next big thing. The next Diaclone Black Tracks, the next South American pink Windcharger, the next European yellow G1 Devastator – is there still anything like that out there after all these years? Slightly More News To Me | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  15. During the height of Diaclone in Japan, Takara and Nitto collaborated on a series of model kits that covered a fair bit of the Diaclone range, mostly the figures that didn't make it to Transformers and the consciousness of many collectors, things like Dia Battles, Big Powered, Warudaros etc. However, number 16 and 17 in the set covered the very first Diaclone Car Robot mould from the Real & Robo series, the Countach LP500S Super Tuning (red Sunstreaker) and its retool, the Countach LP500S Patrol Type (Police Sunstreaker). What makes these kits essential for any self-respecting Transformers, Diaclone or artwork collector is that they feature the only character artwork ever produced for the red and especially police versions of what would become the famous Autobot "Sunstreaker". Square One: Diaclone "Red & Police Sunstreaker" Model Kits <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  16. I am discovering and re-discovering Transformers Animated at the same time. Discovering that the toy line expanded so far beyond the amazing deluxes, voyagers and leaders from my original flirtation with the toy line, and re-discovering repaints and toys I had long forgotten about, and re-living the enjoyment of experiencing new moulds from the line. It’s been a while since deluxes have been so impressive and such complete, uncompromising toys. When the sub-deluxe toys are as good as the Activators and legends, it’s no surprise that everything from there upwards impressed so much. A shame that not everyone feels the same way though, to this day discussions about Animated bring out intense loyalty in some and palpable repulsion in others. A Voyage Of Animated Discovery – Part 2 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  17. I started a mission on my own blog about how one could go about scoring a G1 Rotorstorm for free, a mission that's finally come to a conclusion. I didn't set out to get one free at first, or to make a big deal of it, I just wanted to pay as little as possible for a decent example. What happened along the way I felt was interesting enough to share. I hope you agree! Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 1) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 2) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 3) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 4) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 5 - Finale) All the best Maz
  18. I started a mission on my own blog about how one could go about scoring a G1 Rotorstorm for free, a mission that's finally come to a conclusion. I didn't set out to get one free at first, or to make a big deal of it, I just wanted to pay as little as possible for a decent example. What happened along the way I felt was interesting enough to share. I hope you agree! Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 1) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 2) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 3) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 4) Square One: How to get a G1 Rotorstorm For Free (Part 5 - Finale) All the best Maz
  19. Transformers Animated is an incredibly divisive chapter in the history of the brand among collectors. For every fan who loved the cartoon and was touched by the depth of the story telling, continuity and homages to prior eras of Transformers, there are those who simply can’t understand the love for this highly specific aesthetic and style, both toys and cartoon alike. You can often find collectors liquidating everything from vintage to modern day releases, but even the most thorough collection clearout posts can have a massive gap in chronology where the Animated toys should be. Either because they are keeping this most special and unique of TF lines, or because they never got on board with it in the first place. And that says a lot about how Animated is seen even today, just as at the time. A Voyage Of Animated Discovery – Part 1 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  20. For those of us who have seen THIS, this interview has been something to look forward to enormously. Neale Rochman, AKA "heraldofunicron", has spent virtually all of his collecting life away from the online community. Recently he ventured online and connected with the fandom via the forums, and posted that collection video tour that got a lot of us desperate to find out more about his journey. Neal's Transformers museum is comprised of G1, G2, Japanese exclusives, prototypes and artwork, the main draw being that most of his G1 collection is displayed packaged and loose with one toy in each mode. It's like a living catalogue of Transformers G1 history. I always think I've seen the last great TF collection already and that very little will make me stand back and gasp. I was wrong, so please, the tour starts here... Collector Interview 25 – Neal Rochman | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  21. You know when that bell rings? When you slip into an old pair of comfortable slippers? When you walk down the street of your old house? Things move fast in the Transformers universe and new product can come at such pace that we can become blinded to what’s already around or has gone before. Recently I’ve started something of a journey back into my own collecting past having recently caught up with what is current and immersing myself in the brand new. This journey back in time has not only unearthed previously undiscovered gems of past toy lines for me, but also brought me face to face with a few old flames. Old Flames | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  22. That’s pretty beautiful isn’t it? The MP-12 Lambor/Sideswipe mould in black. Because everything looks good in black, Masterpiece Optimus Prime, Soundwave, Rodimus and now Sideswipe. I’ve now seen all of those black repaints in the flesh and my opinion is that they are beautiful, but whether they are worthy of the extra spend is a matter of how relevant the repaint is to the collector. Arguably, MP-12G Lambor G2 Version (G2 Sideswipe) has the most character to him, something that the execution of this toy taps into deeply. But, is it enough for this to just be as pretty as a black Lamborghini Countach was always going to be? Is there anything else there under the surface? Just Another Black Repaint? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  23. You can tell the Japanese and Joustra Battle Convoy apart from the colour of the parts on the trailer. The Japanese Diaclone has very light blue parts on the trailer (especially underneath). The Joustra will have a darker blue much like a pre-rub Transformers Prime would have. Some very very early Transformers Optimus Primes have the same light blue parts (but not the metal plates, only grey-roller Prime has the metal plates) Also, the Japanese Diaclone should only say "TAKARA JAPAN" on the copyright. The Joustra might well have dates and Japanese writing as well. All the best Maz
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