Monday, 16 April 2012

April Transformers from the Target sale

After buying so few last year domestically (due to the over-inflated prices in Australia, despite our strong AU Dollar), I was expecting this year to have even less bought locally.
How wrong I was...

Despite the upcoming trip to America for the BotCon Transformers Convention (my once a year chance to buy the toys at half what it costs here), a recent Target sale made it too difficult to not buy some recently released TF Prime toys. Mostly because I may not get to any department/toy stores in America this year (the hotel is so out of the way of everything), and the secondary market prices at the Convention would have been equal or more... especially the 2-pack with Bumblebee & Starscream (because it wasn't being released in America anyway).

So when Target had 25% off toys in the week before Easter, I set off on Easter Saturday, expecting to have to travel around to several Targets to find the five items I had decided to buy.
Fortunately, the first Target I went to is a small, slow-moving store, so actually managed to still have all five items I wanted, on the last day of the sale.
The afore mentioned 2-pack (with Bumblebee, Starscream and 2 human figurines - Silas & MECH soldier), and Commander Class Wave 1 (Bulkhead, Starscream, Optimus, Megatron)... completing my set of all wave 1 TFPrime toys.

This is what I came home with (which included a set of RPMs I was missing, but only ended up having minor differences to their Speed Stars versions that I already had).
The RPMs are a red Ironhide and a white Mixmaster - both redecos of earlier single-pack vehicles. (this 2-pack was released by Hasbro in 2010, but was only just "dumped" cheaply in Australia a few months ago at Toyworld)
I tried looking for this particular 2-pack while in Melbourne last month, so was amazed and relieved to find them in the first Toyworld I went to on this partucular Saturday.
So instead of spending all day checking out several Targets and Toyworlds (as I had planned and expected), I found everything I wanted at the first of each store I went to... and was back home within about an hour.

Some pics...

The small TFPrime toys in vehicle mode, showing again just how sucky Megatron is in alt-mode (from side-on in that first photo, and from above in the next photo).
Optimus was the best of the four, followed by Bulkhead and Starscream, with Megatron a distant fourth.
As you can see in the photo above, Megatron doesn't have silver paint on the purple inner chest (the packaging picture shows the jet mode without the big purple section at the front). The robot mode is nice, and felt like a non-transforming rubbery figurine at first, so took a while to find parts that moved enough to make the jet mode.  Now that I've seen how bad it is, I don't think I'll have it in jet mode again... 

The RPMs, next to their Speed Stars "redecos".
On the left is the original Ironhide, then the Speed Stars red Ironhide and RPMs red Ironhide. And on the right are the Speed Stars Mixmaster and the RPMs version. Aside from the slight colour differences, there is actually remoulding done on each.  The RPMs of that series had painted names, while the Speed Stars versions had the names moulded into the base instead... not just mere redecos.
This RPMs 2-pack was a loose end for me (as they aren't easy to find online, due to being low-demand items), which leaves me with just 3 left from the 110 different ones released over the last 4 years.

(an interesting note - ALL of the Speed Stars vehicles that were "re-released" versions of RPMs vehicles, had 3 or 4 LESS paint apps due to cost-cutting... EXCEPT this 2-pack pair - their number of paint apps as Speed Stars is the same for some unknown reason)

So now that I have all the First Edition and Wave 1 TFPrime toys, here's a few group shots...
All the Bumblebees so far.

Optimus Prime

And Megatron (as the 3 main (marketed) TFs characters in recent years)

So from just these 3 characters, we already have 13 different TFPrime toys, out of the 29 so far released by Hasbro... that's almost half for just 3 characters.

...or, as a tight grouping...

...or, the Bumblebees set up by my friend Julian, done in a "boy-band" pose...

One last photo, of all the human figurines so far...

So now I have two shipments coming from America... sent within a day of each other - one from a shipping forwarder (from a Hasbro website order) via UPS, and one from BigBadToyStore via USPS.  Both should arrive by the end of this week... but which one will get here first I wonder.
Between the two, I will have all the BotShot toys so far released in America, plus a few other surprises I'll reveal when they arrive.
And only 8 days until I leave for BotCon, so it looks like April is going to be a big month of Transformers acquisitions for me.

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