Friday, January 31, 2014

Action Features Log

Okay... I know that this is not completely Transformers related, however I wanted to do a solid favor for my friend James.  He and his friend Mike have a little podcast called Action Features... and even though they don't always talk about Transformers... I still wanted to post this here... that way it would be available to the Action Features audience.

Action Features is a podcast that often has a focus on many of the things that I am overly interested in.  They keep me up to date on current pop culture, and often dive back into collecting history with cartoon theme songs, and reviews on cartoons that have long since became standard for our DVD shelves.  Even though Mike once believed Slag and the Dinobots to be Decepticons, I can agree with James' son Blaze's outlook on Transformers 4 and just walk away. 

I have listened to each podcast that Action Features have released, multiple times and created this log.  I tried to keep track of many things, and feel that I successfully captusred all of the foods eaten in 52 episodes, as well as the references to fighting wolves, star worlds, amazing singing talent of Mike and James and the many, many, many, names of Chatting Tainters, and many many syllables of the Ahrnold (Schwartzegger) costar Tia Carararararararararararararararar......ara.  

I hope that you enjoy the log and I challenge the listeners to try and complete the list.  There are some categories that I did not start noting until it was too late, so I challenge fans to trace the conversations about Ahrnold, or Sylverster Stallone.   

Now I am out like a bag of Cheez-Its infront of Mike and James.


Action Features Log Download

Monday, January 27, 2014

Transforming Toys into new toys...

So it seems like the bane of many Transformers fans' existence is the constant influx of repaints that we seem to get.  I remember when I first got into the hobby that I was a little bit disheartened when I found myself buying the third, fourth, and even fifth repaint of that RID Prowl or Beast Machines Jetstorm mold.  I didn't know why Hasbro kept trying to sell me the same stuff, but I kept buying it all.  Then it finally came to me.  This is the way that Hasbro can keep our fandom alive.  Unlike the Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, or many other basic action figure lines, Transformers do not lend themselves to the ability to take a leg from guy a and head from guy b, and basically rebuild a new figure from what already exists.  Instead we get basic repaints, sometimes with new heads, sometimes not, but its how they fill our line.  Now, I recognize that fact, and have backed off my anti-repaint mindset.

Firstly there are always those repaints that we not only want but demand.  Each and every time we see a new Starscream mold, we start yelling for two if not five to seven different paints of this bad boy.  I find it funny that even in a group that gets upset over the amount of repaints instead of new product, we completely turn a 180 each and ever seeker mold that happens to be released.  Also I find myself salvating over the possibility to complete my set each time. 

Not only do the seekers provoke that coveting collector nature but also there is always the whole Optimus Prime release.  I don't care which Prime mold is released I always seem to be a sucker for the white Ultra Magnus repaint, and definitely jump whenever I can get my hands on a Nemesis Prime or Scourge they can throw at me.  I even add extra points whenever the basic white repaints gain their exo-suit, I just can't get enough of these.

I even remember when the record seemed to be broken with common themes and tropes in the Transformers cartoons.  Each story was more of the same when RID started.  Megatron starts off as the big baddie, then the ends up being "destroyed" only to return in the next couple of episodes he arrives now reformatted as Galvatron.  When RID did it, I was happy for the bit of nostalgia.  However then in Armada the same string of events took place... leading that Megatron to find himself reformatted into his purple Galvatron namesake.  When Enegon began, again with a Megatron I was a little bit perturbed about the foreshadow of him once again reformatting, until I saw the toy.  I remember being so excited to get my Energon Megatron, complete from Wal*Mart with the nice code for the online Energon game.  However the mold was screaming Galvatron... not just any Galvatron, but G1 Galvatron.  I was chomping at the bit.  When the reformatting finally happened on the show I was relieved, knowing that my repaint was in the works... and I would soon have a great Galvatron for my shelf..  One that seemed to do the G1 character more justice that even his G1 mold... especially from the original, no reissue color scheme.

Recently the Beast Hunters has kept me away from most of the line.  I have purchased one of each of the new dragon molds, however I have very much strayed away from the partial remolds and Beast Hunter versions the Bots and Cons.  However there was one repaint that completely sucker punched me into action.  I remember the first time that I read about the possibility for the Sharticon Megatron and was strangely intrigued.  I actually decided against buying this bad boy... and then I went to my cousin's house and saw his sitting outside of the package.  Its strange.  I feel like this figure really doesn't photograph well, however I feel that it is a strangely beautiful rendition of the mold.  The teeth around the neck stick out so amazingly and is gives great homage to the Sharkticon, while keeping one of the stand outs of the early Prime mold.
The Beast Hunters mold seemed like they kind of dropped the ball for a perfect rendition for a character.  They wanted a Beast Hunters Dreadwing, and even though he was already a hard to find voyager, they decided to go for the deluxe treatment.  I saw the figure a couple of times in retail, but have still not picked up a copy for the collection.  The only reason that I would purchase this bad boy is for a personal repaint custom.... taking Dreadwing into a Jhaixus.  I believe that I saw this custom on TFW, so sadly it is not an original idea.  However I feel that this could be a perfect repaint, and even dropped into the Generations line for a reuse of this incredibly nice looking mold!


Friday, January 17, 2014

My faith has been restored!

I have to say... I have known that I have been gone from the blog for a while, but let me tell you that the last year has been a year of changes.  Last December the pride of my life came into the world, my little girl Parker was born.  This year, she has exceeded the odds and has amazingly kept up with milestones, beating insurmountable odds, however, this site is about my other obsession:  Transformers, so I will save the Parker story for another day.  She has however made me look at my collection and collecting habits and has helped me put everything back into perspective. 

Sadly, I have to say that the year started off quite slowly for me as far as Transformers has been concerned.  I have found more passes this year than I have had in a very, very long time.  The first Transformers Movie line pretty much killed my completest mentality (I am a sucker for a good head mold, that is what makes or breaks the figure for me... after I purchased the third single eye- wanna be video camera drone head, I was done).  This year though really let me leave most stuff on the shelf.  Prime had shifted to the Beast Hunters line, and as I am sucker for show characters, I can say that there was only one Autobot  that I HAD to have... and after I purchased  and then I got the new voyager Prime, I figured that I was done with my Autobots for Prime.  I was surprised by the Prowl and did manage to get him for Christmas, however, I refused to purchase any Beast Hunter versions of the characters that I already owned in their show accurate versions. 

I did however pick up the Beast Hunters Dragons, well at least one of each mold.  I was excited to see how they would be used, and was not overly surprised to find that this whole toyline was pretty much fiction neglected.  I may still pick up Sky-Linx and Darksteel but that is only because they appeared in the Predacons rising finale, but I already have the mold and feel that I have already experienced the molds. 
I did break my no-Cyberverse rule however, for three sets.  Firstly I loved the Prime cartoon, and when I found that Hardshell was getting a figure I felt that I had to have it and troop build him.  This plan ended after 2 Hardshells were acquired, feeling that he was a bit too small for the rest of my prime collection, however I feel that this was a huge win as a Transformer figure all together.  I really am happy with him.  He is one of the only figures that I would jump on if he was added to the new "Cyberverse exploded" toyline that is now starting to appear.  I would jump on 3 or 4 of these bad boys in show accurate colors, at the voyager price point.  I am drooling thinking about the display of 4 insecticons with my army of 6 Vehicons standing in front of them... so Hasbro Please... Please... make this wish come true. 
My second Cyberverse splurge was for the Terrrorcon releases.  I am a sucker for Gestalts.  The only G1 figures that I have on display is my Gestalt collection, so when I heard Abomunus was seeing a new release I hopped on it.  Currently I have four of the five still mint on card until Rippersnapper is found, but I also have the Target boxed set so I could get the full experience. 
The third splurge started after the announcement of Swerve and Cosmos coming this year, and I had to backtrack to find my smaller G1 Cyberverse Prime and Bumblebee.  I still need to find Megatron and Starscream, but I am rater impressed with these figures.  I do think the smaller size, and ease of transformation would help try to capture kids back into the action figure isle.  They are still not for me, but I will pick up my G1 characters and continue to grow my Chug Collecion.
My Classics are really where Hasbro has won me over this year, after a lackluster start.  The year started a scavenger hunt for the War for Cybertron figures.  They were nice but suffered from the smaller size.  Really they make my previous WFC deluxe figures look ginormous.  Also with such anticipation for a Shockwave figure to fit in that line, I love the WFC Shockwave, however my Energon Shockblast still stands next to my Classics Megatron.  Then distribution was so backed up with the Optimus, Shockwave, and  Jazz wave that it was almost impossible to find wave 2 and a full Bruticus or Ruination. 
When Classics returned, they did so amazingly with the introduction of the Thrilling 30.  I still find myself staring at the Classics Springer, who was almost the figure of the year.  Hasbro really did something with Springer that they should have a couple of years ago, but late is better than never.  Springer restored my faith in Hasbro.  I remember in late 2012 hitting the forums and overpaying for a GDO Springer.... just so I had a sword for my Botcon Springer... but still it didn't quite fit.  I was remorseful that I didn't buy the Warbot Defender.  Hasbro wasn't going to release the figure that I wanted.  Then the Thrilling Springer arrived.  The proof is in the secondary market people.  This is exactly how Hasbro needs to combat the 3rd party dilemma.  Warbot has plummeted in price... and it happened almost over night as Springer hit shelves in Walmart and Target. 
My faith in Hasbro has been completely restored and I find myself now not even looking at much 3rd party now because of one absolutely amazing design thanks to Emilano S!

Metroplex was a gift to me from my amazing wife for Christmas.  He stands taller than Fort Max and is so solid that I can't believe it!  This is the type of thing that I have been waiting on Hasbro to provide for us... and they finally have!  I won't lie... if there were a Metrotitan release of him, I would be more than willing to shell out another $125 to add him to my collection.  I am hoping that Metro is going to start a trend for the Transformers product line.  I really hope that we will be seeing a Trypticon in coming years, and hopefully Max and Scorponok again!
Metroplex has completely re-energized my collector mentality.  I am fully excited and am jumping at all of the IDW deluxe figures.  I am finally tackling my half box full of my TF comics that I still have to read.  I am thinking about what all I could do on this blog.  I am excited and wanting to start blogging about my collection again, and ready to start rediscovering my collection.
I feel that with the Bay movies my collection became somewhat stale.  I have a group of figures that I have barely tinkered with, and want to rediscover them.  I fell like for a while there I was trying to just pull everything that I could and I know that a lot got lost in the shuffle.  I am planning to revisit my cases.  I am going to organize them and get they ready for the impending move my wife and I are starting to talk about.  It really is nice to have a passion for my passion again.  Before the Trilling began I really was starting to try to figure out why I was still doing it.  Thank you Hasbro... please keep up the good work.  I was worried about the new simplified theory floating around, but seeing what the two tiered approach did to Star Wars, those worries have all gone away.  I am looking forward to the collector tier of Transformers coming out this year, and at least now I don't have to worry about trying to "catch them all."  
As I wrap this post up... just one more pic of the amazing Emilano design, looking forward to more of them arriving this year!