Friday, 13 January 2012

First Transformers toys for 2012

Finally some actual Transformers toys for the new year today... with a visit to the Post Office.
Waiting for collection were four boxes.
1 - United Jazz & Tracks (from an Ozformers forum member)
2 - JP Junior 3-pack (Chromedome, Optimus/Convoy, Fortress Maximus) (from another Ozformers member)
3 - DotM Rescue Ratchet (red) from ebay (front of card was torn - lucky I'm not too picky about packaging)
4 - Generations Sky Shadow & Junkheap (latest Wave), DotM Darksteel, Air Raid, Armor Topspin, Leg Soundwave, Speedstars Leadfoot (none have been released here yet).

(click on picture for full size image)
The items at the top right of the picture (on top of the backing cards) were all bonus items thrown in the fourth box. Included is a Burger King Ratchet (head flips open and the body folds into it, and the head closes back up), a second Speedstars Leadfoot (if you want it, let me know and I'll work out a price), a Legion Sideswipe, and a Captain America 2-pack. I'm so amazed at all the extra stuff thrown in, and the items I bought weren't too over-priced either, so I'd definitely look at their listings again in the future.

I haven't had a chance to look over them properly yet. Of the ones that I did get a chance to (before work), were...
Armor Topspin - I love the detailing/sculpting of this (Topspin) mould.  Someone went to a lot of trouble with the panelling on this toy... and the creation of the toolings for the production of the parts musta been a bit of work.
Legion Soundwave - the feet looked really weird in robot mode, but was a side-effect of a rather creative way of transforming the legs into car mode.
Speedstars Leadfoot - This was a surprise find on ebay for me, as I didn't realise that it had been released. And more surprising was that it appears to have only been released to Target stores (thanks to the big Target logo on the car). So, instead of it being part of a whole new wave of figures (because it is numbered on the packaging like all the other *regular* Speedstars figures), it is likely that it was packed into cases of the Wave 1 figures, and only sent to Target stores. It was definitely released after the Wave 1 twelve that came out mid-year... but we haven't had this figure appearing at our Targets. Actually, since the Speedstars vehicles are only at Kmart and TRU, if Target don't take on the line, we aren't likely to see this figure here anyway. It's a pity that the top of the car is the same as the Topspin Speedstars vehicle, but understandable if less were to be produced due to the reduced number of outlets (Target stores). The robot sculpting underneath is different though, with it actually being Leadfoot (so it isn't an entirely redecoed car then). Here's hoping Roadbuster still gets released, as it is noted as being the 5th in that series of 5 vehicles (1st is Bumblebee, 2nd is Optimus, 3rd is Topspin, and 4th is this one, Leadfoot). It would finally be the entire set of three Wreckers in the one size class in the same form (plain or weaponised)... as previous Wreckers toys have been a mix so far.
United Tracks - So glad I finally got this one, as the blue is completely metallic all over, making it heaps prettier than the Hasbro versions. Plus, it's got the "correct" Gen1 hood-flame deco. I was buying all of the Henkei figures in addition to the Hasbro versions, but when Henkei became United, I wasn't as keen on doubling up anymore, as I was having trouble keeping up with all the new releases during that time... and most of the United were "half assed" with the metallic colourings on only some parts of the toys - leaving figures with mis-matching colours in one or both modes. Tracks was one that was done entirely metallic, and had the better hood deco, so was a definite purchase. And I wanted Jazz to go with the Henkei figures, to fill the "Gen 1" hole, so to speak. Unfortunately, at the time these two were released, they sold out fairly quickly, and prices went higher than I was comfortable with... so I just left them as a low priority. When someone on the Ozformers forum was selling them, at a reasonable price too, I jumped at the chance. So happy now.
Junior 3-pack (Chromedome, Optimus/Convoy, Fortmax) - Ever since I saw this set at my friend dirge's place in the late 90s I was interested in getting it. Since I would see it often online and then ebay always going cheap (about $30-50), I never bothered to jump on it (always thinking it was something that was staying cheap - so I spent my limited funds at that time, elsewhere). By the time I had the money to want it, I couldn't find it for under a hundred or two. The last one before this that I noted seeing on ebay, sold at auction for just $29. This wasn't necessarily a "grail" item for me... heck, I never included it on my wantlist... but finding it for under $100 was like a "grail quest" for me. In the end, after years of frustrating kicking of myself (for not buying it when it was considered worthless), I just bit the bullet and bought one off a fellow Australian who was selling theirs for $130. More than my pride would have allowed in the past, but I am realising that Original Series Japanese Transformers are never going to come back down in price after a recent surge.
There are just too many adult collectors in wealthy careers happy to pay the higher prices, so there is never a need to discount back to a more rational value to sell stock. It's now pretty much impossible for collectors like myself on smaller budget/income, to be able to afford, or find affordable Original Series JP figures anymore. I may only be after 22 Original Series JP toys, but without winning the lottery, I doubt I'll ever finish that section of my collection now. (and even if I did some how strike it rich - I still wouldn't feel comfortable paying the over-inflated prices they have these days, because it'd feel like I would be just be helping fuel that inflation)

Reviews of these tomorrow, or the weekend, if I get time.

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