Sunday, August 26, 2012


Growing up, my dad was in the Navy, and being stationed on a ship, he usually had to take six month cruises. They were excruciatingly long to me. He'd write, of course, and I'd write him back, but there was one letter from him that I looked forward to the most. That was the letter stating the he was on his way back. When I got that letter, it meant one thing: a trip to the toy store! It didn't matter if it was Toys R Us, Child's World, or Children's Palace, I was going to get a Transformer.

When I was eight, I got such a letter, and I already knew what I was going to get: all of the Dinobots. I asked my mom if that was ok, and she was fine with it. As soon as my Dad got off the ship, I asked him, and he was cool with it. The next day, we went to the Toys R Us in Long Beach, California which is where we were stationed at that time. It never mattered what city we lived in, I always could walk into any Toys R Us and go straight to the Transformers without deviation. I always found that awesome in my kid mind.

As soon as we got out of the car, I spotted a kid walking out with Snarl and quietly hoped that there were still some left for me. I walked to the aisle, with my brother in tow as we tried to get our parents to keep up. Sure enough, tons of Dinobots. I grabbed them all, looked at my parents and said "These!". Then my brother showed me the biggest Transformer I had ever seen: Metroplex. Flabbergasted, I put the Dinobots back and just stared at Metroplex. I sheepishly asked my parents if I could get him instead. Naturally, a $30 toy would be cheaper than five $10 toys, so they said yes. My brother wound up getting Sludge. Over the years, I've kind of regretted that decision.

After a year or so, my brother gave me all of his Transformers, including Sludge, to pay off various allowance loans I gave him. So at least I had a Sludge. In 1987, I traded Sludge to a drunk teen for Thundercracker, Highbrow, Slag, and a Lego set. I think I made out pretty good in that deal.

I've actually been wanting to get the Dinobots for a long, long time. Since I've joined eBay eleven years ago, really. I got my hands on a Grimlock, but then I started hearing about knock-offs. I'm a paranoid collector anyway, so I got really worried about buying a Dinobot. Luckily, I ran across High End TF's a few months ago and started doing research. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to buy from the one dealer on eBay that I trust the most.

I bought it on Sunday and received it on Wednesday. I must say, I didn't realize how much I loved this figure. The thing that stands out to me is just his size. He's huge, at least in dinosaur mode. His robot mode actually winds up being smaller than Grimlock, which I found odd.

I like the missile launcher more than the riflle
Still, I'm very fond of Sludge and the Dinobots in general. Sludge has waist articulation, which is great. I love posing my figures as though they're turning to shoot. It just looks more dynamic to me. That being said, I believe that Sludge will stay in his brontosaurus mode the most. I'd like to see an updated version, Masterpiece of course, where they actually go with the real dinosaur, the apatosaurus.

Dynamic, I tell ya!
I can't believe that I let something like an outbreak of knock offs deter me from my passion.  One of the positive things that came out of all of this is that I've become a more responsible collector.  It's one thing to buy a Transformer, it's another to do your due diligence to ensure that you're not getting ripped off.  Because of this, I feel like a more confident buyer.

I was hoping to purchase another figure for my next post, but it looks like that will have to wait until after Hurricane Isaac passes through. 


  1. What a cool story. It looks like it was a long road to Sludge, but well worth it. Congrats.

    1. Thanks. I figured that since I don't have much to offer on insight, I could offer a little bit of a background.

  2. Sludge is the only Dinobot I still don't own. Never had him as a kid either. I too have been a little leary of buying him sight unseen b/c of the KOs, but I need to do my homework like you did.

    By the way, stay safe through all this nasty weather.

    1. I'm feeling pretty confident in my Dinobot abilities. What I'm worried about is Reflector. It seems that all I find on eBay are "reissues". Luckily for me, the storm pretty much passed by. It's windy as all get out and rainy, but not horrible.