Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Botcon 2011

Botcon 2011: Animated Stunticons
When I heard that the 2011 con was going to be Animated based, I was crushed that I couldn't attend.  I thought that maybe I would try to get an Iacon package so that way I could at least add the figures to my Animated Collection.  I absolutely love the Animated figures.  Ever since I first saw the images, I was hooked.  I spent endless nights defending that green duplo truck's honor, always saying.... hey, Bulkhead looks perfect in both modes... what else would you want.  Animated Stunticons... hell that's two of my favorite things all rolled into one... count me in... and then Botcon touched it. 
I love to attend Botcon, but as of late I have been let down by their decisions.  It has been ran by Master Collector (I know its Fun Publications, but they started with Master Collector/Joe con), and some of my experiences have made me feel that they forgot the collector in their name, but I digress.  The first fig released was Dead End, and that just confirmed my excitement.  My buddy James and I spent an hour tracing out how they would fill out the rest of the ranks... and I really wish I would have took notes, because we were WAYYY wrong.  Dead End made me think that the set was going to be the best since the seekers, and a definite grab. 
 The next figure released was Breakdown.  Again the figure looked great, and I was still on board with the set, I love the HotRod figure from Animated, and I was happy to see the mold reused.  But this reveal was not as exciting for me... I wasn't sure why, but I knew that something had to be up. My stomach was correct for the next reveal...
Drag Strip was tooled from the Animated Arcee mold.  Again, a great mold, and and an amazing figure, but DOES IT FIT?  My simple answer is no.  I am not trying to be sexist here but DragStrip is no chick!  Thanks to riding in my wife's car all I can hear when I see DragStrip is Lady Gaga... Don't be a drag, just be a Queen!  I promise that I will not quote the gaga again, but I felt it fit here. 
The set continued to let me down with the next choice.  Wild Rider found new life in a Lockdown mold.  Again a great mold, but fit for a stunticon, maybe not.  The stunticons were all racing cars with the exception of Motormaster, they were meant to give Decepticons ground superiority.  Lockdown is a badass figure, one of my favorites, but he just isn't sporty enough to fit for a stunticon.
The final nail in the coffin was the reveal for Motormaster.  James and I argued that they should use a Wrekgar mold.  That way Motormaster would have his trailer, as well as be nice and blocky as Motormaster should be.  However, they decided to use the Optimus Prime mold. The head looks like a perfect Motomaster for Animated, but on the stream lined body of Optimus, it looks horrible in my humble opinion.
All of the sets have now been sold, and I have to say that I didn't even throw my hat into the ring.  I am sad to say that I wasn't even disappointed that I didn't get a set this year.  Again., I just feel that the set had great possibilities, but just let me down as the reveals were released.  I am happy that they showed all the figs before I threw my money at it.  Well at least there's always next year... Here's hoping that they give us a set worth attending for.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I was checking out the TF3005 boards the other day and I saw a guys post followed by an interactive link that gave statistics on his collection.  Being the inquisitive me that I am... I followed the link.  It took me to a site called  I had never heard of this great resource for a TF collector before and decided to share it here.  SHMAX is an online database for TF collectibles.  They don't just stop at figs, but actually include stuff like the small games and stuff like that.
The best part is that they allow you to create a free membership and begin to catalog your collection.  All you have to do is register and you can browse their database and simply click the add to collection button, and that will add it to your profile.  You can then list the condition that you purchased it in, (MISB, AFA, MIB, Loose) and click any and all instructions, and parts that you have in your collection.  It also allows you to add multiples of a figure, and fill out the info of what you have complete, and additionally it allows you to place your purchase price into the equation. 
They even take it to the next step and allow you to create a wish list based off of the database.  To increase functionality, you can select to be notified about EBay auctions, and just like that you have an amazing watchdog for the TF's you can't get enough of. 
They also create a collection value ability.   Based off of what you have added to you profile, they will calculate a complete collection worth, using data they collect from somewhere.  This is my only small gripe about the site... the worth still has some kinks to work out.  Firstly I am not sure where the data comes from for price.  I think that it comes from eBay auctions, but I am not sure.  Secondly, there are many different formers that do not have any value in the system.  This is definitely apparent when you collection is mostly loose and complete like mine  (I figure they are toys... they deserve to be freed from their plastic prisons don't judge!).  This kind of erks me because I added alot of my collection, and then its like... ohh that's great... I added 49 figures for a total of 5 dollars to the collection!  Hooray!
Outside of the collection worth, I really find this to be an amazing resource.  Not only does it allow you to figure out what is with each figure (not with Transmanual accuracy or detail, but still a good idea) but it also provides an amazing log ability.  It even allows you to download your collection, or wish list to a .xls file for a personal record.  I have made countless data sheets and excel files to log my collection, and I always find myself slacking off.  SHMAX provides a great ability to go back and include my figures based off memory, and they also show a MSRP so if you purchased the figure retail, it will help track the price fluxes in the past few years.  I am incredibly happy that I found this resource... and that's why I wanted to share.  Make sure you check it out!  They even track your collection against all of the other users of SHMAX... so register and try to see how high up the ladder you are. 
Finally I can proudly tell my mom that I am the winner... I am the man who is dying with the most toys!