aboutwhy redux?generation oneg2-beast erarid-moviesclassics-animatedafajapanese

Monday, December 26, 2011

TFC Hercules: Structor and Dr. Crank

I hope everyone had a good holiday these past few weeks, I've been out of town spending time with friends and family but it is always good to get back home for some more Transformerin'.

I ordered these guys a few months ago from Robot Kingdom overseas mostly due to them being such a good deal. RK's policy is to wait until all the items in your order have arrived before they ship; in other words they won't ship individual items unless you place individual orders. After I placed my order I realized I probably should have ordered them separately since I didn't want to wait on Dr. Crank to be released before I got Structor. Well fortunately they were released within a week of each other! So my Hercules count goes instantly doubles! Also the release of these two figures marks the first time fans can actually start assembling Hercules since they have all of the body (Heavy Labor and Dr. Crank) and at least one leg (Structor). I've seen a lot of people do this online and I've decided to wait until I receive the final two members before I assemble Hercules. I can remember doing a similar thing for Devestator when I was a child; I got all six members over the course of a couple of months but I didn't put them all together until I had every part. I just feel like the characters themselves wouldn't decide to combine until all members were present and who am I to tell them they are wrong?

At any rate, these are two great figures again from TFC Toys. Part of what I really like about these figures is the transformations feel very G1. They aren't too complex and transformation only takes a few seconds. I really feel like ease of transformation has taken a real backseat to complex transformation in modern toys. Sure, I like a challenge just as much as anyone (MPM Starscream and Leader Prime, I'm looking at you!) but it also becomes a chore if you just want to fiddle with your figures for a few minutes. TFC is bringing that simple feel back with Hercules. When all six figures are released it should only take 5 minutes or so to transform them all from one mode to the other and then to combine them into the gestalt.

So we are four down, two to go! C'mon Neckbreaker and Mad Blender!

Structor aka Scrapper

Nice details in vehicle mode

Dr. Crank aka Hook

This bad boy has one hell of a crane!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas and Star Trek

Nothing gets me into the holiday mood like Star Trek movies.

I didn't really get into Star Trek until 1994, at the tail end of The Next Generation (TNG). I was able to catch about half of the final season on TV, and then my very first Star Trek movie was Star Trek: Generations; the one where Captain Kirk and Captain Picard meet. From there my interest really bloomed, I was able to watch all the TNG re-runs on Fox, I caught new episodes of Deep Space Nine when they aired (most of the time) and I was right there at the beginning of Voyager in 1995.

When 1996 came along and the second TNG movie (Star Trek: First Contact) was set to come out, I put it off for a while due to Jurassic Park coming out on VHS. When I finally did go see the movie it was well into November of that year and the Christmas season was in full swing. I was absolutely blown away and to this day it remains my favorite Star Trek movie. However for some reason I established a close bond with Star Trek and the Christmas season. It didn't help things any that I got some First Contact toys for Christmas that year not to mention more movies and TV episodes on VHS.

So every year when Christmas starts to come around I get the urge to watch Star Trek movies. Whereas most people probably like to watch Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone or It's a Wonderful Life I really get my nostalgic kick from the Trek library, even though they have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas story-wise. I guess you could call it a Pavlov effect, but that is one hell of an association for just a month or so worth of events. Maybe it just means I'm easily trainable. I usually watch episodes year round, but just the movies at this time of year. I started out with First Contact as I usually do, then moved on to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (just because it has been so long since I've seen it) and then to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home to round out the season this year. I really should just watch them in order, but I've seen II, IV and VII waaaay too many times and so I have to even them all out.

Now all I have to do is resist the temptation to buy everything again on Blu-ray. But damn those transfers look good.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Black Shadow Returns!

Since Hasbro finally decided to release the last wave of Generations figures I have been able to get my hands on Black Shadow (Hasbro calls him Sky Shadow I'm sure due to copyright loss or maybe they never even had it at all since he was originally a Japanese only character). Anyway, I've already made my thoughts clear on the original Black Shadow and this guy is no different. In my opinion he is leaps and bounds better than his counterpart Thunderwing. He is also one of the only Japanese characters to be released on domestic shores in one form or another (and I don't count the Star Saber). I'm not one to usually gush over black figures but this guy really takes the cake; the red on black works so nicely together and he has a real throwback feel for me, like he belongs in the '80's. His headsculpt is also leaps and bounds above Thunderwing's. Unforunately Thunderwing seems to suffer from tiny-head syndrome, while Black Shadow's seems much more appropriate.

I also really like how Hasbro has again highlighted the detail on the sculpting of the figure. This is something they have been doing a lot more recently (ever since Thundercracker). And as an added bonus, the chest piece is re-sculpted to match the look of the original G1 figure.

Nicely done Hasbro; I expected the head but not the chest as well!

Past and present, not bad at all!

This was a really nice way for Hasbro to finish out this line of figures, here's hoping there are more Japanese exclusive characters in our future; c'mon Blue Bacchus!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Something a little different in the AFA game

I've been collecting AFA G1 Transformer figures for about two years now and have learned a lot about not only the market, but the collectors and sellers that make up the fanbase. AFA collectors are a very small group and so pretty much everyone knows everyone else which makes anonymity very difficult. However more times than not this is an advantage because it aids in preventing unsuspecting buyers (like me sometimes) from pulling the trigger on a bad deal or working with a crappy seller. The organization and interconnectedness AFA community is really its biggest strength, and I am glad to know the excellent individuals who make up that community.

Anyway, ever since I started collecting AFA figures less than 1% of the figures I have seen have been from the last two years of G1. In fact, I've never seen AFA Action Masters before. So a few months ago when I got a good deal on eBay for some sealed G1 '89 and '90 figures I decided I would get them AFA'd and start from the other end of things. Most G1 AFA collectors focus on 1984-1987 (If that far! Many just do 1984-1985!) so it isn't often you see the later year figures. So here I present the AFA figures that came back the other day in all their late G1 glory!

Action Master Snarl - 85 (!)
Action Master Devestator - 85 (!)
Race Car Patrol - 70 (boooo)
Monster Truck Patrol - 75 (eh)
Battle Patrol - 75 (eh)

Overall not too bad. Like I have said in the past I am less concerned with the grades than with just having them cased up. Protecting them is the most important part to me. I have five other sealed Action Masters that I will be sending off sometime in the near future and hopefully they'll do as well as these did!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Moar Headmaster Warriors!

I have been in a frenzy to complete my Headmaster Warriors lately! In the past month I have obtained more of these guys than I have in the past three years! I got lucky with these two and didn't have to throw down a whole lot of cash for them, the recent KO's have really made them a lot more affordable.

Lione on the left, Rodney on the right
Lione's transformation is identical to Trizer's
Five of the six Headmaster Warriors!
Gratuitous money shot...all the trademarks are there.

One more to go, watch out Shuffler I'm coming for you!!!