Tuesday, June 19, 2012


One day last month, I went through the tackle boxes that I keep all of Transformer and G.I. Joe accessories in.  I have about 6 or 7 of them and they come in handy for keeping track of my weapons, landing gear, and miscellaneous stuff.  It seems that over the years, I managed to accumulate parts for Transformers I've never owned.  I ran across Landmine's gun and sword, parts to make a few more seekers, and a gun for Repugnus.  That was a good find, since Repugnus is on my list of Transformers to buy and I know that it's a lot cheaper to buy a figure sans accessories.

I created saved searches on eBay for every Transformer I need to get to get to my magic number of 400 with notifications for each new listing that comes up.  A couple of weeks ago, I lost out on a Repugnus for what seemed like a great price of $25 with free shipping.  Last week, I found one with a starting bid of $15.  I won it at $17, which made me nervous.  The description stated that it was in good condition, minus the gun, and decals had never been applied.  What made me worry was that there was nothing noted on the state of the sparking action and in my haste to get Repugnus at a dirt cheap price I forgot to ask the seller before the auction ended.  I won the auction on Monday, the seller didn't ship it until Friday, and I received it yesterday.  That was pretty fast.  I opened him up and the his sparking action works and he's in practically brand new shape.  I can't wait until the stickers arrive from Reprolabels.

When my wife saw him, she asked if he was supposed to be a cockroach.  According to her, Repugnus' head is very roach-like.  I'm quite impressed with his monster mode.  Articulation!  The colors really go well together.

I do have a question about the pack on his back.  What's it's purpose?  Is it a jet pack, a remnant from a cancelled third mode?

"I'll form the foot!"
His robot mode is equally impressive.  He still has leg and arm articulation.  Overall, a great purchase.  I can't believe that I've seen this guy go for over $80 complete.  Is a gun really worth $60?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

They Call Me Landmine Because I...Mine The Land...

So I was all intent on making my return to buying complete Transformers with a splash. Instead I got Landmine. Don't get me wrong, Landmine is a great Pretender. He's just no MIB Shockwave.

Landmine isn't my favorite Pretender. That's a toss up between Waverider, Skullgrin and Gunrunner. But, I saw Landmine on eBay for super cheap, and I pounced. Also, Arkvander's post about Cloudburst put Pretenders in my head.

The sword helps with mining

There were a few surprises with Landmine that I hadn't anticipated. The first was that the peg holes to hold his massive gun weren't on the top of his fists, but rather the sides of his fists. This leads to some awkward weapon positioning. It just doesn't look natural when he's holding a weapon.

"Seriously, this is just my gun"

The second was the knee articulation. He actually bends forward at the knees! Sure, they bend forward, but at least they bend. Right after this, the vehicle Pretenders were released and Gunrunner doesn't even have defined legs, so I can't complain about forward bending knees.

As for his Cybertronian all-terrain vehicle mode, it's, uh, it's a thing. Not as impressive as Cloudburst's or Waverider's, but at least the wheels spin in vehicle mode.

I can't wait for my next figure to arrive.  Hopefully it'll be here this week.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Generations Dilemma

I'm facing a bit of a dilemma. That dilemma stems from the new crop of Generations figures coming out this fall. Should I buy them? I think I want to, but my renewed focus on getting as many G1 figures as I can as quickly as I can has called my commitment to other lines into question.

It's funny, Takara puts out details on new Masterpiece figures and they're preordered as soon as I can get Bigbadtoystore to pull up on my phone or computer. Hasbro announces new Generations figures and I don't get that excited. Don't get me wrong, I loved the last run of Classics/Generations/Reveal the Shield. Of the few figures I've seen, Jazz, Shockwave, et al, all look great. I'm not too fond of the way Bruticus looks, but the individual Combaticons look stunning.

It's just that I think I may be burnt out on them. I don't know. This isn't a problem I had with the other Transformer lines. I don't collect anything other than G1, Masterpiece, and Generations. There's nothing wrong with Beast Wars through Prime, I'm just not into them. Well, the movie stuff is anathema to me.

So I decided to come up with a list of pros and cons about the Generations line. Nothing too involved or detailed, just a list to help me.

1. Updated articulation. Warpath alone is awesome.
2. Great looking figures.
3. Not tied into any kind of continuity. That is a big one. Hasbro just gives us a figure and says "Enjoy this update on Wheeljack!". That's awesome.
4. Man that Shockwave looks beautiful.

1. Not tied into any continuity whatsoever. Yeah, I just listed that as a pro, but it's just a little odd to delve into the line without a continuity. Then again, most of these designs end up in the comic, so I may be off base on this one.
2. Man, that Bruticus is ugly.
3. Where are the rest of my Dinobot updates? Grimlock didn't operate alone.

I think I'll still wind up getting the new Generations figures. All 40 of them. Anyone else having this problem, or is it just me? By the by, am I alone in not reading the tech specs anymore? I just buy the figure, pop it open and enjoy. And really, isn't that all that matters?

He's Getting Closer...

The eBay seller who sold me the long Starscream missiles that never arrived sent me replacements on Saturday and they arrived Monday. Unfortunately, they were yellowed. Fortunately, the seller gave me a refund and told me to keep the missiles. The project is getting closer to completion.

After removing all of his decals, I noticed that Starscream had yellowed considerably. It was really noticeable on the wings after the stickers came off. I could've just put the new decals on in the exact same positions that they were originally in on the wings, but even with tweezers, I'm not that precise. Two yellowed missiles and other parts?  That means one thing - peroxide!

I've never tried this trick before, but I've read about it. I'm super nervous about this. I hope that this works.

Here he is disassembled
 So I dumped all of that, minus the chest and nosecone into a glass baking dish, added the peroxide/oxi-clean solution, covered it in plastic wrap, and put it out in my front yard in the sunniest place I could find.  There was only one problem:

That was as sunny as it got
We've experienced a lot of stormy weather where I live over the last week, so it's been difficult to get any kind of sun for any length of time.  That coupled with the fact that I was extremely worried about this screwing up parts, I didn't make the solution very strong.  As a result, the yellowing improved some, but not enough.  The weather should improve next week, so I'll try again with a full strength solution.  I just got the launchers in, so by the time I get Starscream completely clean, my decals from Reprolabels should be in.

Still yellow

Friday, June 8, 2012

Old Don Figueroa Interview

After reading Flywheels' post about finding an old piece of art that Don Figueroa had sent him, I remembered that I had done an interview with Don when the first War Within mini was published by Dreamwave years ago.

The circumstances on how I got the interview aren't that interesting. At the time I thought I was a funny guy and had started a Transformers humor site. Exactly 6 people saw that site, all friends of mine. Anyway, one day I was on the DW message board and saw that Don was on. I asked him if he'd answer some questions for me and he agreed. I emailed the questions and he sent them back. They went onto the site and I sent a link to the Allspark and they were nice enough to post it in their news page. After that, I got 4 more visitors!

Here's the link.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bad Luck, or The Ghost of Starscream?

I've been working on completing the Starscream that I found in one of my storage totes. I should be done by now. I'm not.

It's not like I've been procrastinating about finishing him. I've stripped all of the old decals off and cleaned him. This guy's ready to go for detailing.

I'm still missing his launchers and long missiles. I ordered each weeks ago. I ordered the launchers on the 7th of May. They shipped the 9th. Lost in the mail. During the two weeks I waited to contact the seller, I had received multiple parts that I ordered after the launchers. Damn. But that happens, right? At least the seller was awesome and refunded me quickly.

Next, I ordered a pair of long missiles. They shipped on the 20th. Still haven't gotten them. Just contacted the seller, and he's looking into it, but I'm confident he'll make it right. I've dealt with him on numerous occasions. In both instances, neither was shipped with tracking. I think next time I'll just ask the seller to tack on tracking.

When the launchers didn't arrive, I just thought it was bad luck. Then I started to suspect my wife after the missiles failed to arrive. But after careful consideration, I think the ghost of Starscream may be meeting the mail person at my mailbox and taking the parts so he can return to exact vengeance. After all, only his parts haven't made it to me.

Pathetic fool!  You'll never complete me!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Me, Grimlock, Feel Funny

I never owned the original Grimlock as a kid.  I never actually got one until a few years ago on eBay. I did, however, own a Pretender Classics Grimlock.  I got him at a mall in Niagara Falls, New York when we lived there.  My parents tended to buy my brother and me toys when they went shopping for stereo equipment or whatever to keep us busy while they shopped all day long. 

When I finally decided to bring out all of my Transformers from my parents' attic a few years ago, I found Grimlock minus the shell.  Bummer.  Since I'm still technically banned from purchasing whole Transformers for a bit, I decided to look on eBay for his shell.  Lo and behold, I found it.  Finding Pretender shells is pretty easy.  A lot easier than I would have imagined.

I love how chubby the Classic Pretender shells are.  It's like Grimlock got a little crazy at the all you can eat Energon buffet.   Still, it's nice to complete him.

Backstreet's Back, Alright!

So I was at my parents' house the other day when I discovered something there.  My parents kept all of the Legos that my brother and I played with as kids for the grandchildren to play with.  My son wanted me to build something out of Legos for him, so I started digging into the giant popcorn tin that all of the Legos are in.  What did I find in that bucket?  Why Triggerbot Backstreet, of course! 

I also downloaded a new photo app
He's in pretty rough shape, from being played with and left in canister of Lego blocks and jostled around in that canister.  Also, my nephew played with him and customized him a little bit.

He's apparently a NASCAR fan.  Or 79 is his favorite number.  I'll have to ask him.  Either way, I'm gad that another lost Transformer has found his way back into the collection.  This also renews my hope and belief that there are more Transformers at my parents' house.  Man, that would be awesome to find my Seacons, Springer, and whoever else is missing.

Seriously, I love this app!