Sunday, July 5, 2009

Toy Carnival @ SAM

Toy Carnival Advertisement

My haul from the Toy Carnival: Ratchet, Sideways and Starscream
Went with some TF.SG members - Unicron Nemesis and kopikia to the Toy Carnival @ Singapore Art Museum yesterday, and it was certainly a fun-filled event with many of our local toy stores participating. I thought it was like a giant scale Sunday CSC Flea Market though, with many familiar faces such as Falcon Hangar, Rapid Culture, Simply Toyz etc there. There were goodies galore too, such as free comics for the adult collectors, and free popcorns and floss candy for the kids. And for the photo hunters, there was the 501st contingent in their Star Wars gear, ready to strike poses for anyone who wanted to 'shoot' them. I went with the intention to look for cheaper ROTF toys and I was certainly not disappointed as I managed to secure two voyager class - Starscream and Desert Tracker Ratchet, as well as one deluxe Sideways at very good prices. I wished I had gotten Demolishor and Megatron too, but their prices were only slightly lower than current market prices so I thought I'll bide my time for these two. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

ROTF Midnight Toy Launch @ Forum The Shopping Mall

My haul from the toy launch (L to R):
Sideways, The Fallen, Leader Class Optimus Prime and Sideswipe
The queue of people snaking around the shopping mall
Our queue numbers

Starscream, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee
A picture taken with Bumblebee

Early birds waiting outside TRU

Countdown to the Toy Launch
The stacks of jigsaw puzzles for our members

I attended the Midnight Toy Launch at Forum The Shopping Mall last Friday to show appreciation to Hasbro's support for TF.SG ROTF Fans Screening, as well as to distribute the goodie bags to our TF.SG members and I must admit I was utterly shocked by the huge turnout. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine thousands of Singaporeans thronging a shopping mall at midnight buying toys, but that was how the situation was like then. Madness.
I joined the queue around 8 plus in the evening with Grimlock bro and it was about 1030 when Toys R Us started their activities for the night with appearances by Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Starscream. Thereafter, there was also a TF-related quiz and I managed to get one of the questions correct for answering that the other name for G1 Jetfire was Skyfire. The prize I received was a TF Lanyard. There was also a speed transforming contest where the prize was a TF watch. A pity I didn't get the opportunity to participate in that.
When the countdown towards midnight approaches, there was an air of excitement and anticipation for shoppers outside the TRU store. Finally when the shutters went up, there was madness as everyone, young and old, rushed into the store and started sweeping toys off the shelves and into their shopping bags. Some of the shoppers were old hands and knew what were the hot faves, such that stocks of toys like Sideswipe, Sideways and The Fallen were quickly depleted in no time. Leader Class Prime was also a fave, but because of the plentiful supply and the prohibitive price tag, it was always available. With good fortune, I managed to secure The Fallen stacked neatly within the other voyager class items, and was beaming with pride when I overheard other shoppers mouthing in envy, "Hey, he's got The Fallen." I quickly paid for my items to avoid the queue that would soon form, and received a goodie bag consisting of an exclusive toy launch T-shirt, mug, guidebook, car decals etc. I then proceeded to distribute the complimentary jigsaw puzzles to our members and eventually only left the shopping mall around 2.30am, exhausted but thoroughly satisfied. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Transformers Universe Mighty Muggs

My Mighty Muggs

Mighty Muggs are a new line of new Urban Vinyl-style figures produced by Hasbro and feature collectors' favorite characters from Star Wars, Indian Jones, Marvel Comics, G.I. Joe and of course, Transformers. Depending on which series they are from, Mighty Muggs figures can be highly collectible and highly desirable. I was never a fan of Mighty Muggs until they released the Transformers Universe line with the first wave of Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee and Soundwave, followed by Starscream and the highly coveted Grimlock. I decided to collect just the Transformers line as there are simply too many characters produced already. Up next will be Jazz and Shockwave, which I am really looking forward to.

Animated Shockwave and Wreck-Gar

TFA Animated Shockwave, c-10

Representing his double nature in the cartoon, Animated Shockwave represents both the Autobot Longarm and Decepticon Shockwave, and features four distinct modes. In "Infiltration Mode," the shorter, stockier Autobot Longarm transforms into a four-legged crane platform. In "Spy Mode," he stretches and manipulates himself into the taller, lankier Decepticon Shockwave, as the crane portion of Longarm's body converts into a hand-held cannon. The symbol on his chest flips between Autobot and Decepticon symbols.
misb TFA Wreck-Gar, c-10

Wreck-Gar transforms into a garbage truck that looks just like "Weird Al" Yankovic he does in the show. He comes with slider-activated articulated lifting arms. He also comes with two translucent blue energy blades that can store in his canister, emerge at the sliding of another lever, and clip onto his forearms in two different configurations. He's very well articulated, including fingers jointed at the first knuckle, and his big feet make him easy to stand. He also has a facial expression that would not seem far out-of-place on Al himself. He doesn't have an Autobot Symbol on his chest, but he does have one on the left side of his cab in vehicle mode.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Deathsaurus - The Decepticon Emperor of Destruction

misb Deathsaurus, c-9
Release in 1989 as part of the Victory Series, the original Deathsaurus toy transformed into a nondescript dragon-lizard thing with wings (or giant mutant space chicken) that doesn't really look like anything except ugly. Unusually for post-Generation 1 toys, he has die-cast-metal feet in beast mode.
In robot mode, both of his Breast Animal components can be slotted inside his spring-loaded chest (or kaiju-mode back) to form his elaborate torso armor; Eaglebreast must go in first, then Tigerbreast added on top. Both Breast Animals can also become hand-held weapons. He is armed with a light blue laser rifle — which, despite what the boxart and cartoon would have you believe, does not have a removable flail— and a large shield constructed out of his tail that can mount on either bicep.
Because of its relatively large box size, it is hard to find Deathsaurus in the condition above. It took two months for the item to be finally delivered to my place, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Saving the economy...

Disney Mickey Mouse Optimus Prime, c-10

misb alternity series, c-10

Henkei Inferno, c-10

Henkei Ratchet, c-10

I did my part to save the economy yesterday with my largest haul this year. I have been selling most of my vintage collection since the beginning of this year to make way for room space and to concentrate on the newer releases. Anyway, most of my pre-ordered stuff arrived yesterday so I went over to Falcon with some of my friends to pick up the items, which include the latest toys from the alternity series, the Henkei Ratchet and Inferno, and the wildly popular Disney Mickey Mouse Optimus Prime, which is apparently sold out in the streets in Japan. A friend who sold me his collection once told me "The joy of collecting toys lies in once owning the collection itself. When you finally sell off your collection for other pursuits, you should not have any regrets." I am a collector, and still is, as I can lay claim to the fact that my vintages were mostly sold at prices below what I paid for them, except for a few which I managed to recoup the cost price. With that, I bade farewell to some of my gems acquired over the years; Black Zarak, Grand Maximus, Superion, Raiden, Black Sixshot, Liokaiser. More will leave my collection in the months to come, and I can only hope they find another owner who recognise the joy they bring.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dinobots (KO version)

misb KO Grimlock, c-9.5

Grimlock's toy was originally part of Takara's Diaclone Dinosaur Robo series. When Hasbro imported the toy in 1985 for the Transformers line, its blue pelvis was changed to red and the Diaclone driver mini-figure was dropped.
The original Grimlock changes from a robot into a robotic T-Rex and comes with a red energo-sword, a black double-barreled rifle, and a rocket launcher with three silver rockets.
misb KO Sludge, c-9.5

Sludge was released as part of the second series of Transformers in 1985, transforming into a robotic "brontosaurus". He has a trio of silver rockets, a rocket launcher, a black gun, and a red sword. Like most Diaclone-era molds, Sludge also has a conspicuous driver compartment located in his chest.
misb KO Slag, c-9.5

Slag was released as part of the second series of Transformers in 1985. The toy transformed into a robotic Triceratops, and came with a missile launcher that could fit in the shoulder socket of both the robot and dinosaur, a red sword, a silver "electro blaster" and three silver rockets.

misb KO Snarl, c-9.5

Snarl transforms from a robotic stegosaurus dinosaur bristling with gold vacuum-metalized armor plates, to a heavily armed robot armed with a red energo-blade, a smaller laser rifle and a rocket launcher with three black missiles.

misb KO Swoop, c-9.5

Swoop's toy transforms into a robotic pteranodon. Swoop can stand on his dinosaur feet or lie on his stomach in this mode, but additionally has fold-out wheels located in his feet and chest (though one has to split his chest open to access the latter wheel). His beak and tail were rounded for safety reasons compared to the original Diaclone release. However, the remolding of the tail kept the tail sticker from fitting correctly. Interestingly, despite being a former Diaclone toy, Swoop is the only Dinobot not to have an obvious cockpit for a Diaclone driver figure.
Swoop's die-cast metal chest is painted red, which is his Transformers color, as opposed to his cartoon color scheme which was based on the Diaclone toy. Along with his sword, he also comes with two spring-loaded missile launchers, the only Dinobot to have two projectile-launchers.
Swoop is notable for being one of the most fragile Generation 1 toys, and as such commands a respectable amount of money on the secondary market due to the difficulty in finding one intact.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Victory Saber

mib unused Victory Saber giftset, c-9

Released in 1989, the Victory Saber giftset is a two-pack of Star Saber and Victory Leo. In Victory Saber vehicle mode, Victory Leo transforms into a compacted version of his fighter mode and connects into the rear between Star Saber's engines/legs, forming a huge-ass space ship.
For Victory Saber robot mode, Victory Leo basically splits up into multiple parts, with most of Leo's body becoming platform shoes for Star Saber and the rest of him forming a giant backpack/weapons system. As Victory Saber, the Star Saber robot is armed with his sword, the backpack's weapons and Victory Leo's huge cannon, which can fire projectiles.
This Victory Saber giftset was purchased from an online seller based in Japan with the help from a friend. It came in a very good box with its content in even better condition.