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Maz

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Everything posted by Maz

  1. Over a decade ago, I gave my Robots in Disguise Car Brothers to a non-collecting friend as a gift, and they’d been sitting in his garage for all that time. Having just cleaned out that garage he dropped them off to me again, thinking I’d have more use for them now than when I gave up the hobby back then. The Car Robots Mach Alert, Speedbreaker and X-Brawn became Robots In Disguise Prowl, Sideburn and again, X-Brawn. Playing with those excellent toys again, something dawned on me. Car Robots is now almost as old as Generation 1 was when Car Robots first came out. Blast From The Past | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  2. The Netherlands has always had a very rich culture of Transformers collectors, with some of the most well-known, long-time, knowledgeable fans and stunning collections originating from Holland. Rein "iDarkDesign" den Hengst has been a part of that Dutch TF scene from the earliest stages, and is now involved with the annual Dutch B.O.T.S. Transformers convention. Having seen pictures of his astonishing collection recently, and allied to the fact that I met him in person in 2012 after years of running across each other online for over a decade, it was high time to bring Rein's collection, wisdom and refreshing attitude towards the hobby to the attention of everyone else. So here he is to talk us through his Transformers history. Collector Interview 24 – Rein den Hengst | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  3. It is apparently a golden age for Transformers collectors. Takara Tomy and Hasbro are feeding the Masterpiece hunger with cartoon accurate characters that fans have wanted forever, and 3rd Party companies are trying to fill the gaps and expand on the direction the collector community wants their collecting to move towards with varying results. The meat and veg products from Hasbro and Takara, things like cartoon-based lines and Classics/Generations have popular comic series tie-ins and have produced some of the best moulds of the series recently, with exciting stuff on the horizon. Choice is at an all time high, but so are the pitfalls that can detract from the collecting experience. Pitfalls | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  4. Since Mijo of 20th Century Toy Collector confirmed the existence of the mainland European Generation 1 1985 Milton Bradley "Sunswipe" - a Sunstreaker in Sideswipe packaging - there's been a lot written about it by both himself as the remover of the veil of ignorance, and myself as the first owner of probably the best specimen ever found. I have since passed this diamond of a Euro variant onto Mijo, where it belongs to be fair, but here is the first dedicated write-up I've personally done on this variant. Square One: Milton Bradley G1 "Sunswipe" <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  5. We've looked at the yellow G1 Ceji Devastator and the variant G1 Ceji Starscream, now it's the turn of the 1986 Ceji G1 Decepticon jet Ramjet, made in France and sold in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. We'll briefly check out Thrust and Dirge too. Like Devastator and Starscream, Ceji's Ramjet is quite different to the Hasbro and Takara Generation 1 Transformers Ramjets that most of us will have grown used to in our childhoods and adult collecting. Here comes the breakdown Square One: Ceji G1 Ramjet, Dirge and Thrust <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  6. Minibots got everywhere. They were in Generation 1 in North America and Europe on cards, they came out in Japan in boxes and then cards, they originated in Japan in boxes with different colours to Transformers, they were available in a rainbow of new decos in a number of South American countries, moulds were re-purposed as new characters and painted as such in Mexico (with new colours thrown in for fun). There were vintage model kits and gumball kits in Japan too of certain moulds. More recently reissues have introduced new and interesting variants and interpretations, and there were also keychain versions with convention exclusive repaints. That’s a very general overview, but as if that wasn’t enough headache for the minibot completist, there are also vintage bootlegs, and they are something entirely different. The Lost Tribe | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  7. If you’ve ever been in the business of selling items from your Transformers collection, chances are it was for a good reason. When action such as that is properly justified, it can be lived with and we move on, waiting for a point in the future where any regrettable sales can be undone. I know personally I have sold to raise money for other purchases, because of shifting interests and because sometimes I had to. This week I look at some of the figures that, given the financial comfort and opportunity, I would like to buy back. Buy-Back | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  8. It's been a decade since the origin of the Finnish Diaclone Black Tracks was finally revealed and discovered by the community outside Finland, but even then pictures and stories about it existed for years before, so it wasn't a surprise. Has there been anything discovered since that was based on established early vintage Generation 1 figures, but completely different? One example that comes to mind is the Japanese Diaclone "Black Sideswipe", that was actually all black, not like Deepcover. Again, another Diaclone example, but quite groundbreaking...although not to anyone who wasn't a G1 car or Diaclone aficionado. And it was still a black Countach, not that new. This may not be quite as big as those two official releases, but it is good, and it will surprise. For something to make my jaw drop simply because it has gone undiscovered for so long is rare and hugely welcomed. There can't be too many of these moments left in this hobby. Spanish KO Minibots Overview <- CLICK TO READ This article collects together all the "Big Reveal" chapters from my Square One blog: Square One: A Big Reveal......is coming Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 1) Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 2) Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 3) Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 4) Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 5) Square One: A Big Reveal (Part 6) Square One: A Big Reveal (Finale) All the best Maz
  9. Ambassadors Part 6. You know the score by now, surely. Although I do think one thing bears repeating, our contributors that are picking their line, category, sub-category or era-specific ambassadors are not choosing one toy to represent the Transformers brand as a whole, or to turn a complete non-collector into a collector. Rather, they are choosing a toy from a particular area of Transformers to promote that area’s qualities, charm and character – as well as highlighting its shortcomings – to those of us who have never sampled that line, that category, that era. The contributors have admittedly set their own parameters on occasion, but the key thing here is we can enjoy the enthusiasm and justification of other collectors while being comfortable with the fact that our own choices would have been different. This week’s topics are Beast Wars, Cybertron, reissue exclusives and Transformers watches. Our question, as before, was: ‘‘What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector (and yes, I see where the confusion has arisen from) in order to sell the line?”. So, in no particular order… Ambassadors – Part 6 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO DISAGREE/READ I added my own choices for last week's Part 5 and this week's Part 6 categories on Square One Square One: Ambassadors Part 6 - and my picks for Parts 5 and 6 With thanks to: - Fighbird - The Last Autobot - Specimen17 - Brr-Icy - Ras - TheSpacebridge Part 1 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog Part 2 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog Part 3 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog Part 4 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 4 | Source Blog Part 5 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 5 | Source Blog All the best Maz
  10. Collectors with focus, aims and specific targets always have intriguing collections and a strict guideline as to how they indulge in the business of buying and collecting Transformers toys. Dave Shorter has a vision. His collection is one with a mission and purpose, one that aims to chart the journey and evolution of a single character through all the different eras and generations of Transformers, from pre-Generation 1 to the most up-to-date example of the toy. While it may have been his original remit, you will see that as with most of our collections, a little straying is inevitable... Collector Interview 23 – Dave Shorter | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  11. Every category of Transformers toys has its talisman. A shining beacon that stands out and represents the very essence of that category, its qualities, shortcomings and character. And just as vintage and modern official Transformers lines have their ambassadors, as do 3rd Party products inspired by Transformers. Now while we can’t take one product as representative of the entire scene (because there’s only one *cough* Quakewave *cough* answer), we can select four 3rd Party companies who have put out enough product to make our contributors’ lives difficult! Our question, as before, was: ‘‘What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?” Ambassadors – Part 5 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ I added my own choices for last week's Part 4 categories on my new blog Square One Square One: Ambassadors Part 5 - and my picks for Part 4 With thanks to: - Heroic_Decepticon - CZ Hazard - Jonny Napalm - Genetic - Tekering Part 1 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog Part 2 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog Part 3 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog Part 4 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 4 | Source Blog All the best Maz
  12. Pick one Transformers toy to represent an entire line, category or series. Simple, isn’t it? Not when you consider that your choice cannot solely reflect a personal preference but instead should embody the qualities of the whole line and give non-collectors or non-believers a way into a particular Transformers sub-category. It’s why Jetfire cannot represent Generation 1, the rest just don’t measure up! This week our contributors take on TF: Prime, Revenge of the Fallen, European Generation 1.5 and Super Collectible Figure (PVC). Our question, as before, was: ‘‘What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”. Ambassadors – Part 4 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ I added my own choices for last week's Part 2 categories on my new blog Square One: Square One: Ambassadors Part 4 - and my picks for Part 3 With thanks to: - Heroic_Decepticon - The Last Autobot - Fighbird - Brr-Icy Part 1 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog Part 2 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog Part 3 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog All the best Maz
  13. An ambassador should be the embodiment of the qualities and character of its people, representing the best that they have to offer. So when we asked our contributors to choose one Transformers toy that could act as an ambassador for Binaltech/Alternators, Armada, Japanese exclusive G1, or G1 between the years of 1987 to 1990, it was no easy task. Nevertheless, true to form, the guys have offered up a talisman for each line, and the debates are sure to continue as they did after Part 1 and Part 2. Ambassadors – Part 3 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ I added my own choices for last week's Part 2 categories on my new blog Square One: Square One: Ambassadors Part 3 - and my picks for Part 2 With thanks to: - Superquad7 - Heroic_Decepticon - CZ Hazard - StayingInTheBox - Brr-Icy Part 1 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog Part 2 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog All the best Maz
  14. If you were trying to sell the concept and qualities of the Transformers Animated toy line to a non-collector, or an enthusiast who doesn’t collect Animated, which one toy would you pick to represent and ‘sell’ the line? What about Generation 1 1984 to 1986? And Masterpiece? DOTM? These are the questions we put to our contributors, and their responses demonstrate the kind of insight – and surprises – that we hoped an article series like this would produce. The question they were asked was as follows: “What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”. Ambassadors – Part 2 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ I added my own choices for last week's Part 1 categories on my new blog Square One: Square One: Ambassadors Part 2 - and my picks for Part 1 With thanks to: - Genetic - Puffmarko - IronhicHide - Scubaboy31 - The Last Autobot Part 1 can be found here: Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog All the best Maz
  15. When one thinks of high-end vintage Transformers and pre-Transformers collectors, you cannot blame a person for automatically assuming said collector is from either the UK, Italy, France, Scandinavia or the Netherlands. It certainly came as a surprise to me to find that Alberto Jimenez, a collector from Spain, had such a deep interest in G1 Transformers, pre-Transformers and vintage variants from Europe and Japan – not to mention a breathtaking collection. I had never associated Spain with having a major Transformers community, even though it is inextricably linked to G1 through gold boxed Classics, so here’s Alberto from Madrid to tell us about his life with Transformers, and he’s not holding back either… Collector Interview 22 – Alberto Jimenez | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  16. A lot of time has been spent discussing the rarest or most expensive members of Transformers categories and sub-lines in this column, but this week I’ve asked some of the most respected and knowledgeable collectors in the community to nominate one toy from their assigned category that they believe best represents that toy line. One toy that, in their opinion, embodies a category’s best qualities, essence and could conceivably be used to sell the toy line to a non-believer or non-collector. The question they were asked was as follows: “What toy would you choose to represent an entire toy line, if you had ONE choice, one toy you could pitch to a non-collector in order to sell the line?”. Ambassadors – Part 1 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ With thanks to: - Tony Bacala - Brr-Icy - Gordon Yip - CZ Hazard All the best Maz
  17. Everywhere you look now in vintage Transformers collecting, every niche and sub-category, the bitter end items that are required to polish off a section of the hobby are running into the very high hundreds or even low thousands of dollars. The purposeful march of certain toys and rarities towards four figures has left many a collector grateful for their early interest in things such as Japanese Transformers, pre-Transformers, minibots or even Mexican Transformers and premium North American items before the waves crested. Four Figure Hobby | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  18. No Transformers blog is complete without the occasional rant about auctions, that is after all where most of us still get our toys, especially vintage. Whether it’s through eBay, Yahoo or a proxy bidding service, most of us have had bad experiences and taken chances that haven’t worked out. So here is my first auction rant of 2014. http://tfsource.com/blog/ebay-adventures/ <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  19. Afraid not mate, this is literally the only Huffer I own, not counting the Joustra Diaclone. All the best Maz
  20. Could this be a masterpiece, or a Masterpiece, even? It was meant to be. Once upon a time Takara Tomy considered releasing a Huffer (or “Drag”) to go with Masterpiece MP-10 Convoy but the idea never came to fruition. So, with their debut offering, have Cubex nailed Masterpiece levels of aesthetics, quality, design in their Not-Huffer “Huff”, allowing him to be seamlessly integrated into a Takara Tomy or Hasbro collection of Masterpiece Transformers? Is he even the best Not-Huffer on the market? Good luck finding a majority opinion, but if you’re interested in mine, read on! Masterpiece or Not? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  21. Once in a while we have the pleasure of meeting a Transformers collector who goes beyond the norm, beyond just amassing plastic for personal amusement and satisfaction. Someone whose roots run deep into the Transformers community and even a little of the industry itself. A person who gives back as much as he takes, providing great service for collector friends, helping make the hobby a better place through creativity, talent and hard work. Someone who takes time out of their life to contribute and add to the enjoyment of others. Sid Beckett is such a person. He also happens to have a frankly stonking Transformers collection to boot. Fully deserved. Collector Interview 21 – Sid Beckett | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  22. Under the weight of newer Transformers products, one can sometimes find it hard to keep up with every new variant and development that comes along, never mind continue to catalogue the unyielding tide of vintage discoveries that continue to be made. In some cases, the vintage revelations are news to most of us who hadn’t paid close enough attention to certain areas of G1 Transformers, while to others it is knowledge hard earned from giving particular niches of the hobby distinct focus and commitment. The beauty of this community is that eventually, it will all make its way to the surface and continue to decorate the Transformers G1 tapestry. Marginally More News To Me | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  23. The road to Feral Rex continues with the release of the Mastermind Creations Reformatted Ground Assaulter R-05 “Fortis”, a 3rd Party product based heavily on the original Transformers Generation 1 Predacon “Headstrong”, one fifth of MMC’s combiner “Feral Rex”. The G1 Predacons were famous and loved throughout the Transformers fandom as they combined into one of G1′s most adored combiners, the mighty Predaking. MMC’s Feral Rex – or Not-Predaking – looks by far the best of the three offered by 3P companies and has already received considerable praise. R-05 Fortis is the second Feralcon to see release, following hot on the heels of R-03 Bovis. So how does Fortis measure up, is it a standalone success or just a means to an end? Meeting Expectations – Part 5 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  24. He finally arrived, on the very final day of 2013 for me having been pre-ordered in March of the same year. Delayed beyond his Masterpiece Datsun stablemates on account of his re-tooled shoulder design and for reasons of recreational Takara Tomy fan torture, MP-19 Masterpiece Smokescreen has landed to a tremendously mixed reception. MP-17 Prowl and MP-18 Streak set the bar immeasurably high for this mould in quick succession over a short period of time, so Smokescreen had to be exceptional to justify lasting awe and effect. Was he? Last But Least? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  25. And so begins 2014, a year that promises much in the way of new official and unofficial Transformers figures from Takara Tomy, Mastermind Creations, FansToys, Hasbro and many others. The Masterpiece line continues to churn out fan favourites, whether they be licensed Autobot cars or leaders like Ultra Magnus and Star Saber. Third party companies like MMC will complete their Not-Predaking while FansToys will tackle Masterpiece-sized Not-Dinobots. So what do I feel will be my 5 favourite purchases of the upcoming year based on what we know? Top 5 Purchases of 2014? | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
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