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Everything posted by Maz

  1. As 2013 races towards its conclusion, collectors are taking stock of all the new Transformers figures they’ve added to their collection in 2013, a year that saw the Takara Tomy and Hasbro Masterpiece lines engage a higher gear and really start giving fans what they supposedly wanted. A year that saw 3rd Party companies present even greater competition for collectors’ spending and a number of new lines like Transformers GT and Transformers Go launch in Japan. A year that saw BotCon pump out more exclusives and the Generations line pay further homage to classic TF characters and IDW comic stars. For the closing TFSource article of 2013, I will be reviewing my own 2013 toy purchases and listing, in reverse order, my top five acquisitions. These will not necessarily all be 2013 releases, just toys I bought in 2013 that have made the biggest positive impression on me. Considering my collecting history and specialisms, the results may be surprising to some – and yet entirely predictable for those that read this column weekly. Top 5 Purchases of 2013 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ Happy new year, everyone! All the best Maz
  2. At Christmas, we may have occasionally succumbed to consumerism, materialism and buying-copious-amounts-of-Transformerism. With our Source Blog Collector Interviews we often succumb to the allure of immensely large and attractive Transformers collections from well-known collectors, meticulously maintained and put together with the most painstaking dedication at great expense and sacrifice. That, however, does not represent the entire fandom just as those traits do not fully represent Christmas. With the greatest respect to our diverse and unforgettable interviewees, and Richard Brown’s modest collection, please prepare yourself for possibly the most engaging Source Interview thus far with someone who may seem aloof about collecting toys, but is very serious and gifted in accidentally bringing together UK community members for what will be known down the eons as “PubCon”, as well as being “one-third responsible” for the amazing upcoming “An American Way Of Death” TF Noir. Collector Interview 20 – Richard Brown | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  3. Return of the King, the return of Starscream, the return of MP-11. For everyone who originally missed out on Takara Tomy’s Transformers Masterpiece Starscream when it was re-tooled as MP-11 (“What do I need with another MP Starscream?”) and realised in time what a sore omission it turned out to be in their Masterpiece collecting, Hasbro Asia have recently reissued MP-11 with another run due early in 2014. Online images rarely do this magnificent creation justice, so having finally added him to the MP shelf, I can comfortably say what others have said for months – I will never need another G1 Starscream. The Coronation | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  4. There's a collector int he UK that has a painted hardcopy prototype of Skylynx and he says the resin under the Transformers colour scheme is a little different, maybe a clue as to what it would have looked like as a Toybox release. All the best Maz
  5. There’s more to “Pre-Transformers” than Diaclone, Microman and Takara, and there’s definitely more to them than just being predecessors to Transformers toys. The figures we looked at last week in Pre-Deluxe – Part 1 included Takatoku and Bandai Valkyries from SDF Macross, the Mugen Calibur and Ovelon Gazzette from Dorvack – proper toy lines in their own right with animated series to boot. Now, while the remaining figures on our list didn’t enjoy an animated series, they deserve mention and recognition. This week we look at Armored Insect Battalion Beetras by Takatoku – the toys that would become Deluxe Insecticons – and briefly, Toybox’s Mechabot-1 (pre-Omega Supreme) and the Astro Magnum by Toyco (Pre-Shockwave). Pre-Deluxe – Part 2 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  6. Just as the Takara-designed Autobot Cars, minibots, Decepticon jets, Megatron, Soundwave and his cassettes have their roots in the early 1980s Takara Japanese toy-lines Diaclone and Micro Change Series, a number of non-Takara Transformers - like the Deluxe Insecticons, Deluxe Autobot Vehicles, Omega Supreme and Jetfire - originate from older Japanese toy lines as well. Pre-Deluxe – Part 1 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ Huge thanks to Colin Pringle and Jeremy Kaufmann on this one. All the best Maz
  7. Between late 1984 and 1986, Hasbro released a series of Transformers characters in North America and Europe that never saw release in Japan as "Transformers", despite previously being available as part of other Japanese toy lines. These non-Japan Transformers became known in the Western world as Jetfire, Deluxe Vehicles and Deluxe Insecticons. Another thing that all of these toys had in common was that they were not manufactured by Hasbro or Takara. Deluxe | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ Big thanks to Brr-Icy, jonnyshaft, karaokeninja and Mijo for the contributions. All the best Maz
  8. If all collections and collectors were the same, this section of the Source Blog would be completely redundant, as would the mass of collection showcase threads across all the online Transformers community forums. We have featured collections that are very niche, hyper-rare and highly specific to obscure sub-lines of Transformers and pre-Transformers, but Kevin Hopson’s collection is as pure and classic as one can get – Series 1 and 2 G1 Hasbro Transformers from the US. However many times I have seen US G1 collections, the simplicity and quality of Kevin’s collection is such that no matter what I may have owned in over a decade of this hobby, I look at his display and wish it was my own. Collector Interview 19 – Kevin Hopson | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  9. Cheers bud :) All the best Maz
  10. There’s no theme this week beyond simply “Transformers”. That’s pretty much all that ties the subjects of this article together; a smattering of new stuff, really old stuff and whatever lies in-between that I found while digging through boxes, old photo albums and folders. So it’s officially a filler week before the themed articles start up again (read MP-11 Starscream / MMC Fortis / MP-19 Smokescreen arrive), but I hope there will still be enough here to keep you interested. Well, that’s a lie actually, there is a very weak theme running through this week’s subjects, that of the peripheral activities and interactions between Transformers and other media/events/hobbies that make it such a powerful and enduring brand, especially for enthusiasts like you and me. Threads | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  11. Influence is a funny old thing; childhood experiences and preferences weigh heavily on us, as do the tastes and decisions of our friends and collecting contemporaries, not to mention the Transformers community as a whole. There’s just so much to draw influence from in the Transformers universe, from current trends and fads to animated shows and various other forms of Transformers fiction. The easiest way to express appreciation or affection for one’s favourite characters in this hobby is to buy a figure. Past, present, rare, common, Masterpiece, World’s Smallest. But the power of fiction, good fiction, is such that even the most undesirable toy can be cast in a completely new light, suddenly bursting with relevance thanks to portrayal on screen, or words on a page. The Power of Fiction | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  12. Do it!!! Worth every penny, man. All the best Maz
  13. The relentless wave of new Transformers products - comics, toys, official or otherwise - continues unabated. It's a challenge for every collector to keep up with exciting new lines and concepts, as well as trying to maintain - or heaven forbid expand - a vintage collection at the same time. Masterpiece, Transformers GT, Encore reissues and 3rd party not-Transformers are expensive standalone items, for anyone looking to budget wisely and not miss out on the best of all worlds, purchases have to be made with due care and consideration. Meeting Expectations – Part 4 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  14. As quietly as it came, TakaraTomy’s Transformers GT toy-line has seemingly given us its last offering and wrapped up with as little fanfare as when it launched. That’s not for a lack of trying on TakaraTomy’s behalf though, this gorgeous short-lived series has suffered primarily from being perceived as nothing more than expensive repaints of existing Alternity moulds and trying to wrestle fans’ attention away from the immensely exciting Masterpiece and 3rd Party scene currently grabbing all the headlines. Well, it got my attention, and with the series now complete, It deserves its moment in the spotlight. Again! Transformers GT – Part 4 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  15. This week we look at TakaraTomy’s MP-8 Grimlock in anticipation of the Hasbro Asia re-release, and to a lesser degree the KFC Micro Robo and another Transformers-related item that whips up anticipation and fever but is not a toy – the IDW Transformers More Than Meets The Eye ongoing comic. All of these items have/had high expectations to meet, so how did it work out? Meeting Expectations – Part 3 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  16. By now we have seen a lot of thoroughly impressive Transformers collections and breathtaking displays. Having been in the hobby for over a decade now, even though it’s easy to assume I have seen it all, as more people expand their collections to become larger and more complete I am continually surprised by the quality of collectors’ achievements. It is rare, however, for me to see something that truly requires me to sit down and raise a glass. What Erwin de Waard has done with his Classic collection and in the past with his G1 Optimus Prime collection, well those qualify. Here’s the story of a collector who, like many of us, has had to make sacrifices to create the collection he is so proud of today. Collector Interview 18 – Erwin de Waard | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  17. We Transformers fans, we consume. We consume toys, information, comics, stories, movies, and we demand immediate and un-metered access to all of it. We are an entitled bunch who are becoming increasingly spoilt for choice when it comes to all of the above. So to ask us to wait the better part of a year after being teased relentlessly with preview images of upcoming Masterpiece or 3rd Party items, despite paying or budgeting for them mere days after the news hits…well there’s a lot to answer for if the toys don’t measure up. Meeting Expectations – Part 2 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  18. For those of us who found our way into the world of Transformers via the Sunbow cartoon in the mid-eighties, those episodes we remember from childhood still hold a very special place in our hearts and will forever be recognised as the gateway to the hobby we cherish today. In the UK, many of the episodes were not easily accessible and it wasn't until the mid-to-late nineties that a number of fans were able to view seasons 1 to 3 in their entirety, until then VHS tapes were like gold dust. Then the DVDs came and the VHS tapes became worthless. However, as one collector recently said to me wisely, we tend to now enjoy the episodes that we had as children the most. My favourite childhood G1 episode was Megatron's Master Plan, and thanks to Masterforce.co.uk, I now have the original G1 script for that episode, from Marvel Productions Ltd and written by Donald F. Glut. Original G1 Script - Megatron's Master Plan | Masterforce UK <- CLICK TO READ Many thanks to Morgan Evans from Masterforce.co.uk for hosting my work, and for this wonderful piece of history! All the best Maz
  19. In the world of Transformers collecting, instant gratification is big – just listen to the complaints when a package is late. So this pre-ordering game for Masterpiece Transformers or 3rd party products is a bit new to some of us, paying for something in March and receiving it in October, 7 months later. During that time, the company responsible for capturing our imaginations tweet shots of prototypes, distribute production sample photos and entice us with images of the items on display at various Asian toy shows or events. When the frenzy reaches climax and online retailers begin to ship out orders, do these toys meet our expectations? - Meeting Expectations – Part 1 | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  20. Don’t judge. You can’t judge, not in this game, with its myriad population of collectors and enthusiasts. There will be personal admissions of guilt and opportunities for ridicule and vigorous head-shaking, but you can save your pity for those who don’t see what they are doing to themselves and aren’t having fun. Feel free to spend your 2 cents, pence or vehemence in condemning someone who is “not doing it right”, who is not as enlightened as you, but the enthusiasm, enjoyment and pleasure are real, as real as the mentality itself. This is my hobby, my problem, and it follows me everywhere. The Mentality | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  21. There are collectors who are known purely for the size and quality (or focus) of their collections, while others are known for being prominent personalities within the community. Then we have collectors who are renowned for being keen customisers while others gain recognition for the services they have done the community through the years. So to actually be interviewing someone this month whose qualities encompass all of the above, and happens to be a tremendously well-liked and good person too, is quite an honour. Collector Interview 17 – Allen Greenwood | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ Many kind and gracious thanks to Allen Greenwood for words and photos. All the best Maz
  22. Yep, the crew of the Lost Light from IDW's comic series "More than meets the eye"! All the best Maz
  23. One feel-good article does not a balance make, therefore we are taking one more week of contributions from even more esteemed collecting colleagues about the continuing pleasure and ever-lasting appeal of Transformers toy collecting. If we can fill two weeks’ worth of column inches about why giving up toy collecting should be taken seriously and how much you can expect to benefit financially, or spiritually, then surely we can put forth an equal amount of positivity to explain our ongoing love affair with the amassing of plastic crack? Still Not Giving Up | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
  24. After two weeks of depressing articles about giving up Transformers toy collecting or selling beloved figures for various purposes, how about an abrupt change of direction? This week we have a feel-good piece about the pleasures and continuing joy of being part of the Transformers community, why the cultivating of a collection personal and unique to us can bring such happiness and actually have a future in our lives. Not Giving Up | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ All the best Maz
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