Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Just My House?

I really hadn't been planning on buying more Micromasters so soon. I've actually been planning on making those purchases later down the line, towards the end. But sometimes things just fall into your lap, like Hot House. Or so I thought.

Now before I go any further, let me stress that this all my fault. I was an irresponsible buyer on this one. When I located Greasepit, I also found my Hot House base, I just needed the Hot House figure. Sure enough, one popped up from a seller who does a lot of business on eBay. I've bought from him before, good seller. Anyway, this particular seller puts his descriptions up that include links to YouTube videos where you can actually see the item. They're actually pretty informative. I took a quick look at the description, misread a line and thought that it stated " figure only", which is exactly what I needed. I didn't even bother to watch the YouTube video.

A few days later, a box that was way too big showed up with the base. Huh. I checked the description again and watched the video and discovered my error. Long story short, my son now has a Micromaster base to play with his Transformer Legend class figures. Damn. As a result, I haven't even thought about buying anything for the past week as I get over this error. I need to not get so excited over deals.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fill 'Er Up!

I recently remembered that I had some Micromaster bases. I let my son play with them a couple of years ago and forgot about them. I went digging into my son's toy box and found Hot House, Air Wave and Greasepit. Well, I found the bases. I've never actually owned the complete sets, the most complete one being Greasepit who was missing the gas pump, missile and launcher and signs. At least I had the figure.

I decided that it would be nice to complete these. So I went to the store to pick up new ones. Then I remembered that I couldn't just go to the store for these guys. That meant eBay, always eBay. I found the missile, the missile launcher and the gas pump being sold by the same seller for $5 each! I contacted him to ask if he'd combine shipping if I bought all three because he wanted $3 shipping per item. I've yet to hear from him, even though I asked the question two weeks ago. That sucked.

Not wanting this to be some long drawn out process, I continued my search. Kinda. I got sidetracked by my purchase of Sureshot and I like to purchase one figure at a time. I had a saved search for anything with the word "Micromaster" in the title. Lo and behold, a complete Greasepit with box! I've noticed that the loose, complete ones have been going for about $40 or more. This one had an asking price of $25. Hot damn. Hot damn. It should go without saying that I hit the "Buy It Now" button fairly quickly.

Greasepit is a redeco of Mudslinger, of the Autobot Off Road Patrol. Mudslinger was one of my favorite Micromasters and the leader of his patrol. Like Mudslinger, Greasepit's oversized wheels fascinate me. It's the way that they designed his tires. Only half the tire rotates, which is weird, but I find awesome. It's like he has bagels for tires. Radical.

According to his Tfwiki entry, Greasepit essentially tricks Autobots into refueling at their gas station and them giving them crappy fuel.  I could be wrong, but I could have sworn that the toys had always stated that all Transformers used Energon.  Well, until Nucleon.  I know that was the case with the cartoon.  The only times the Autobots ever used gasoline was in the Marvel Comics, thanks to G.B.Blackrock.  So was this an attempt to combine fictions?  Doubtful, since I don't think Hasbro or any toy company really cared about that kind of thing, they just wanted to sell toys.  This whole deal with continuities and such seems to be a new phenomenon.

So I bought this Friday and I got it in the mail today. I think that's the fastest I've ever received a package.

Here's the box, it's seen better days.  I had completely forgotten about how the Micromasters had comic book inspired art on the back.  Can't say I'm a fan.

I love the later font
Like I said, it's seen better days
I really dig the tech specs with the bars
Only $8.97 at Kmart now!

Once I opened the box, I noticed a few things.  The first being that this thing was really dusty.  The second was that the paint had almost completely been rubbed off of Greasepit's face.  My Greasepit and base were in a lot better shape.

Dusty.  Robot without a face

Side by side with the one I already had.  The new one is on the left.

Side by side, The new purchase is on the left.

So what I've decided to do is take the pieces I was missing from the new one and add them to my old one.  Considering that I was going to spend $15 plus most likely $9 is shipping and still not have the signs, spending $24 to get everything plus the box feels like I came out with a win.  I think I may keep one in battle station mode and the other in gas station mode that way everything gets used. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Je ne sais quoi

I really want more Headmasters. My problem has been deciding which ones to buy first. It's the whole kid in a candy store thing. And at $100 a pop, I'm not going to buy more than one at a time. So while wrestling with my decision, I ran across a neat little auction on eBay for a Targetmaster. Hey, at least it's a Master.

What attracted me to this particular Sureshot auction was that it came with it's box. It wasn't MIB, but there was a box and the price was for about what a loose Sureshot would go for without the box. The thing that attracted me to the auction was that the box was bilingual. It was in French and English which meant Canadian. I used to live in Niagara Falls, New York and the bilingual Canadian stuff always fascinated me, so I knew I had to get this.

Box!  French!  English!  Awesome!

This is actually the second Sureshot I've owned. The last one I owned didn't have his partner Spoilsport. I actually gave him to a cousin a few years ago. My thinking at the time was that Sureshot was incomplete and I wasn't too keen on him. That and my cousins are 18 years younger than me and were just getting into Transformers, so that was a way to give them something they'd like.

At any rate, I've always loved the idea of Nebulan partners. Two toys for the price of one? Sold! The only downside is that they're do muchore on the secondary market, especially for the Decepticons. I've never understood why the Decepticon Targetmasters cost so much more than they're Autobot counterparts.

My only real exposure to the Targetmasters was the "Rebirth" episodes of the old G1 cartoon. That, that was horrible, even by my at the time fifth grade standards. Sureshot was mainly a background character in the Marvel Comics. I mainly have a picture of Sureshot getting fixed up by Fixit, drawn by the greatest Transformers artist of all time, Andrew Wildman.

Sureshot transforms into something reminiscent of a Baja buggy, something that you could race on a desert dune somewhere. I'm not sure how that would be helpful on Cybertron. Earth, sure, Nebulous maybe, I'm not sure. His alt mode is still pretty neat, if impractical.

 Here's a shot of the back of the box.  I love the action scenes on the back of the boxes.  They always look awesome and add a sense of grandeur.  I'v always wondered who did the art.

Fort Max is HUGE

And here's the tech spec in it's bilingual glory. Just beautiful.

The box isn't perfect, as the robot points were cut out, which means I won't be able to use them to order anything from the S.T.A.R.S. flyer, but them's the breaks. This was a great purchase. I'll get to a Headmaster soon enough.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Local Toy Hunt

I went to the flea market today with dreams of Transformers. After something like a ten year absence, there was finally a toy dealer at the flea market! And from what I had been told, he had a ton of toys! Hot dog!

I walked into the guy's booth (stall?) and he's holding a Chromedome in car mode. So far, so good. I asked him if he was complete and he looked at me and said "I'm not sure". That's not a good sign. I then noticed that he had an iPad and was looking on eBay. That's not good. He let me look at Chromedome and I knew right away that he was missing everything, it was just the body. So I told him Chromedome's name and I even told him the price range that he sells at. The owner then asked me if I wanted Chromedome for the low price of $25. Uh, no?

I talked up the owner, Tommy, and told him that I was looking for G1 Transformers. Looking around, I saw mainly Star Wars and newer Transformers from Energon and Cybertron lines. Tommy stated that he had two drawers of Transformers for sale. Hot dog again! I looked in the first drawer. I found Sludge's left leg, half a mini-spy, a Ratchet missing an arm, and the back half of his van and all accessories, and the top half of Long Haul. Eww. Time to check out the second drawer.

This drawer seemed more promising, there was a Motormaster missing his right arm, but there was a gun, a rub sign Bumblebee missing tires, and a Bombshell missing his gun. I found a Seaspray with joints tighter than the one I own and a Warpath with it's barrel intact, but missing his head. My Warpath has a broken barrel. I reasoned that it wouldn't be too hard to swap their heads. I asked Tommy how much for the Warpath. That's when things got bad.

Tommy pulled out his iPad and started fumbling around with it. He then said "Well, it's going on eBay for about $10-$15, so I'll go $10". Ten dollars. For a Warpath missing his head. Ten dollars. I didn't even counter offer, that's how stunned I was. I put Warpath back and then asked if he had any G1 parts for sale. Tommy told me that he had four 16 gallon totes of Transformer parts. Music to my ears, since I need some parts for various figures. Then, Tommy broke my heart. The totes of parts were in a storage trailer in Tennessee, apparently. It sounded like the Canadian girlfriend excuse to me. I got his email address so I could send him a want list.

All in all, it was a fruitful trip. I made a connection that could be on the lookout for parts and figures for me. I'm not so sure about his pricing practices, however. From talking to Tommy, it appears that he prices his toys and collectibles based on what they sell for on eBay at that particular moment. We'll just see how this works out. Maybe I'll try checking out some yard sales.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Starsceam, Completed!

Well, almost.  I still need to get his cluster bombs, but I've been more of a fan of the longer missiles, so we'll see if I make that purchase.  After getting a little bolder with the peroxide solution whitening trick, I completely disassembled Starscream again.  I even managed to knock out the pin that holds the canopy to the rest of his body.  I practiced on an very old Thundercracker junker that I had laying around first to see if it worked and it did.  This had the added value of giving me the experience to tighten the canopies of my other seekers.

I think I may have left the solution out in the sun for too long, but I wanted to make sure that everything was the same shade since I had to purchase a few parts singly.  Even if he turned out a little lighter than he had originally was supposed to, I was pleased.  Here he is after I pulled him out of the solution and reassembled him.

I forgot to take pictures before I put a few labels on.
Robot mode
I finally got my shipment of decals in from Reprolabels.  I cleaned off Starscream again to make sure that there wasn't any accumulated dust or dirt on him and to take off any remaining sticker residue.  Labeling only took me a few minutes, which was shocking.  When I relabeled my Defensor, it seemed to take forever. 

This mold never gets old

This restoration wasn't completely problem free.  I realized after I had reassembled him that his nosecone was worse off that I thought, it looks like it's been chewed on and there's a tear in it.  That should be fixed in a few days when the junker body I ordered arrives for the custom Seeker I'm working on.  The second problem was that I couldn't get up the courage to fix the red paint on his chest.  Still, that's a minor concern for me.  I'm just happy that I resurrected a great figure that I wasn't even aware that I had. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Random Thoughts

I finally joined shmax the other day.  Over the course of a work day, I updated my collection on the site and was pleasantly surprised. Currently, I'm ranked #438! I was thinking if be around #900, but I guess my collection is bigger than I thought. Then again, I did add in figures that I don't count towards my goal of 400. Doubles and figures no longer on display, that sort of thing.

Speaking of the magic number of 400, my collection currently stands at 365, which is a decent number considering my narrow parameters, I suppose. With that in mind, I've decided to scrap my original plan of getting to 400. I'm now going to attempt to get every G1 figure I can to get a complete set. There may be some reissues or Encore figures (There already are quite a few), but there will not be any knockoffs. I figured that once I factor in the next wave of Generations and Masterpiece figures, I'll hit 400 before Christmas, and that makes me sad.

Masterpiece Sunstorm releases next month and I'm still torn about getting him. I've had him preordered since he was announced, but now I'm having doubts. I've always tended to just get figures that I like, which is why I never got MP Ultra Magnus, but I've never been fond of the Sunstorm character. I have the Ehobby release, but that was more because I love the Seeker mold. This will be a decision I'll most likely make at the last minute.

Ive been thinking about participating in the online fandom again. It's been years since I've really joined a forum or message board. I'm just not sure which forum to join. I still have an account at the AllSpark, so maybe I'll start there.

I really want a Headmaster. Guess its off to eBay...


So I won this auction for Cyclonus. Normally I'd be ecstatic over this. He is on my list, after all. That coupled with the fact that the auction was for a blue eared version and it was only $50 piqued my curiosity.  Could this be too good to be true?  I've seen regular versions going for over $75 recently and I just didn't believe that my luck would be continuing after the awesome Repugnus figure I had just received.

I bombarded the seller with questions.  How are the joints?  What about sticker condition?  Is this a knock off?  The seller patiently answered every question and rather quickly.  I did all of the research I possibly could on my iPhone while at work.  I looked at Heroic Decepticon's Cyclonus post to compare what he had to what the seller was showing me.  Trying to decide on authenticity by viewing pictures on an iPhone is difficult.  For the life of me, I couldn't tell the difference between the regular and blue eared versions.  Was I color blind? 

I only had three hours to make up my mind.  The auction was ending quickly, and Cyclonus was still sitting there without a bid.  That made me even more nervous.  Why would a variant figure at that price still be sitting there without a bid?  Tick tock, tick tock.  I really need a Cyclonus...  For some reason, I decided to take the risk and place my bid.  I won!  And I won it for the starting price of $50! 

So he arrived and I opened him to compare him to the pictures that I found on the web and I must say, I think I may have found a winner, but I'm not sure.  I still have a question about his feet.  Is the blue eared Cyclonus supposed to have metal or plastic feet?  Mine has plastic.  Any help with identifying if this is a real deal or not would be greatly appreciated.

Yeah, I still don't know.

Anyway, on to Cyclonus.  I was never that big a fan of the Season 3 figures.  Actually, I never liked the Floro Dery designed ones.  I've never been sure why.  The animated versions were always good, but the toys were always lacking to me, even as a kid.  This intensified as I got older.  Because of this, I was really worried about getting Cyclonus.  Judging by the pictures I've seen of him, he just looked very awkward.  He has big hands, an odd shaped head, and just looks gangly.  I had never seen a Cyclonus in person because I could never find one as a kid.  Then again, I never really looked that hard. 

Man, was I wrong.  This guy is actually a pretty neat figure!  I love the fact that he's tall, keeping him in line with the Seekers.  His space ship mode is good as well.  All in all, even if this isn't a blue eared version, I'm glad I got him.  I need more Decepticons, after all.  Now I just need to decide if I want to drop the coin for his Targetmaster version, which is ridiculously priced, if you ask me.  Now that I have Cyclonus, I can take a few weeks off from purchases to focus on a few other projects, like finishing the restoration of my Starscream, cleaning my old TFs, and a custom Seeker that I've been planning.  That is, unless another deal falls into my lap.