Sunday, December 25, 2011

Brickformers

So Hasbro's 2nd foray into building block toys after the abysmal Built-To-Rule line just popped in KL: Kreos. And it looks like we have a winner.

First of all, just look at the pricing. A similar sized set (say that 3 times) licensed Lego set would cost 1.5 to 2 times the price of a Kreo set, at the expense of slightly lower quality build.

(Apparently these are by Oxford, a Korean based Lego competitor that does military models.)

Don't get me wrong. I was brought up on Legos. My brothers and i would stay up til 3am just mucking around with bricks all over the carpet. But now that i buy these for my kid i know the cost of brand loyalty and Kreos in comparison just deliver more bang for the buck.

I bought Starscream first (was keen on the jet mode). Then went back for Prime and Bumblebee (the small ones, sans minifig) and lastly Mirage. And i'm really looking forward to more of these. I play a bit with my kid's Lego but building my fave G1 character really brings back that feeling from childhood completing my Lego City sets.

Here's hoping they make G1 Metroplex, Animated Omega Supreme and heck, even an Ark/Mount Saint Hillary diorama. Hey, i can dream, right?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 end of year update

December already? Wow.

So i've actually still been picking up the occasional TF but besides the slow down of purchases, the ones i buy i hardly have time to mess with. Hence the lot of em compiled here.

(Bear with me, trying something new here with photography style. Just messing around with iphone's instagram, i love this thing.)

GENERATIONS WARPATH
Missed the boat when he was released locally - it was a short run, pre release of DOTM toys - i got this guy through a US based forum i frequent (thanks, nate!). I dont dig the 4 tread tank design, but the bot mode is practically perfect. Shoulder guns a bit overkill tho, he already has a turret embedded in his friggin chest. KABLAM.

PERFECT EFFECT'S REFLECTOR
I've always preferred the toy version of reflector with the 3 robots that comprise the camera mode being distinct from each other, but its still cool that we finally get something close to cartoon accurate, even if its non-official. Would've preferred it to be bigger nor do i care for all the accessories but these are done quite well for KO standards, just a notch down from fansproject's stuff.

LEGENDS PROWL AND TRAILBREAKER
Prowl's already been done as a deluxe TFU toy but trailbreaker/cutter here finally gets some love, yay! Even if its in legends scale.

TF PRIME CLIFFJUMPER
Not really big on the show nor design, but i loves me some american muscle car! Cliffjumper's voiced by The Rock in the show's pilot (spoiler: he dies!) but CJ gets a bit more face time in the comics. Can you smeeeeeeelll....

TFA IRONHIDE
I actually bought this some time back and totally forgot to update my inventory. Love that smirk. Just need Waspy and Swindle to wrap up my TFA collection.

MP10 CONVOY 2.0
Waited a bit on this guy because of the steep pricing (whereas i've always picked up previous MPs on 1st shipment). Passed up on the previous MP convoy with trailer set and kinda glad i did. Haskatomy really knows how to milk their cash cow. That said, this guy is great. I always felt the original MP convoy alt mode was lacking and this version makes up for it and more in spades. Lose some gimmicks but since i have both version i'm not complaining.

Aww wook at the widdle optimus pwime! Seriously tho, this may be a toddlers toy but it looks good in both modes, the gimmick works great and its G1 inspired. Insta-buy!

RTS GRAPPLE
Yet another old purchase that i stashed away til now. I dont buy all the generations repaint, but grapple is cool guy, he doesn't afraid of designing cybertron skyline and being in cohorts with constructicons!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ciao #58

I've been curiously finding myself scouring the internet to read more on MotoGP's Marco Simoncelli's tragic accident during the course of previous weekend race at Sepang. For the uninitiated, Marco, racing on the #58 Gresini Honda made an error early on in the race and peculiarly slid across the track at a turn; Colin Edwards and all time great, fellow compatriot and close friend Valentino Rossi trailing, ran over him: the outcome was immediately apparent, there was nothing they could do.

I've never been one to glorify famous personality tragedies but for some reason this one hit a nerve. I was following it play by play and when it happened everybody following it just seemed to stop, in shock, waiting for a sign that he was going to be okay which deep inside everybody knew was not coming.

I'm a casual fan of MotoGP (though i ride and love bikes) so i didnt really have a strong attachment. But i found the whole thing gripping and compelling for some reason and following the news and responses the outpouring of fans and followers seemed genuinely sincere and heartfelt. I didn't really make the connection until i saw an ad on RTM for Nujum Pak Belalang...

Marco was a hero. I mean, he's not my personal hero (P Ramlee is by the way) but he's somebody else's hero and it must've been heart wrenching to see him went out like that. I mean, motorcycling is dangerous as it is (famously quoted by Ernest Hemingway as the only true sport besides montaineering and bullfighting, the others being just games) so participant and spectator are aware of the risk. And Marco, while a polarizing figure on the track due to his reckless racing style, was well loved off it, a combination of his larger than life stature and (hair)style, approachable star and well humored interviewee. It couldnt have happened to a nicer guy, basically.

But the reason i'm even posting this is because i'm reminded of why we have our heroes, in particular in sports (mine is Chicago Bull's Michael Jordan), because unlike movie or music stars these guys are real supermen, doing things that you dreamt of doing growing up playing, on the field or court or track. And its disheartening to see them succumb to physical situations. We had Mokhtar Dahari. I cringe everytime i see Muhammad Ali in his current condition. At least Senna had hit his prime.

If i was a casual MotoGP follower before, i am fan now. Thanks to the love shown by SuperSIC fans all over the world. Y'all saw the him for the star that he was even before he got a podium finish in MotoGP, i will be lucky to find the next guy with even half the charisma, rest easy #58.
Great tribute piece by Autosport's Toby Moody, here:

http://plus.autosport.com/free/feature/3972/toby-moody-remembers-marco-simoncelli/

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reports of my demise...

Man, work has been kicking my ass.

Things have been slow on the collecting front since I've been trying to get back into an old habit/new hobby:


its a parallel twin kawasaki er-6n. HAPPYFACE. I really wanted an inline four z1000 tho. SADFACE.

But to be honest theres been lack of interesting stuff (read: non-G1). I did get perfecteffect's reflector set (they're tiny!) and generations grapple (yay, another repaint!) but botcon 2011 rolled around and these guys came in the mail:

ANIMATED STUNTICONS


Thanks, jarodimus! Same guy hooked me up with botcon 2008 set, too. New animated characters, g1 homages: insta-buy.

Got this off the internets:

G1 BEACHCOMBER



Like, this dude completes my original minibots collection, man.

Stumbled on these guys, didnt know about them:


Besides TFs, MOTU was as big as TF with the kids i grew up with (not to mention more affordable). I dont care much for hot wheels but i love the art on these. New stuff these days dont invest much on painted toy artwork like they used to. Kinda like die cast...its a lost art. Ba-dum-chh!

I also caught TF:DOTM on premiere night with a buch of fans, but thats a story for another post.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

If yer gonna ride, daniel...

...ride in style!

Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy

This guy came out just in the nick of time for CNY Holidays. Otherwise it'd have been a week to wait for shops to return to business. always good to avoid transformers purchase blue balls.

robot mode is very nice. he looks like he stepped right out of the movie. you can practically hear 'dare'. good articulation but the protruding shoulder is slightly limits range of movement.

i'm liking the battle platform mode more than i expected. while i haven't even bothered playing with MP prime's trailer (my dalianjj version is still in its box), the compactness of roddy's trailer is a plus. i'm all like BUDDABUDDABUDDA DIE DECEPTICREEPS up in here, which is kinda funny cuz roddy's always been depicted as emo, he'd never do that (but he would do anything for love!).

car mode is damn slick, i just love the retro futuristic look.

just can't get enough of it so i take 2 pics from the same angle. Whutup KOToys.com?!!

never dug the ol' space winnebago but they do a good job combining the car and trailer. i normally dislike fake bits (the cockpit and hood is actually part of the trailer) but its done creatively.

If you're considering getting this and have been hearing nothing but whining (even from people who don't actually have it *rolls eyes*), heres my take:

- aside from paint chipping. mine only has 2 real problems: one arm exhaust doesnt tab as well as the other in car mode, tho not floppy. one feet spring has started to show uncoiling, tho its still in there.
- transformation is very finicky from robot to car and car with trailer. feels like youre gonna break something just before everything lines up. but with familiarity you get better at it. just gotta get over the steep learning curve.
- torso/backpack tends to easily untab when handling in robot mode, so the trick is to hold it at the torso, keeping pressure. the problem is due to super tight shoulder ratchets so the force it takes to move the arm around tends to cause the torso/backpack tabs dislodge.

i can't say its worth rm500 or usd200 as per current market price (i usually go for 1st release on principle) but despite its flaws and shortcomings the bot mode is awesome and the vehicle mode's a beaut. you can win...if you dare!

2011 CNY haul

seems like with the impending movie stuff coming out there's a spike in the rate they're pushing current stuff. die, wallet!

RTS Perceptor, G2 Prime

'Scuse the pink backdrop. It's my kid's make up table! Perceptor was thought to be the weakest of this wave but he turned out pretty solid. Once you can get over his half-track mode that is. G2 Prime's kinda weird in that the original was already a modern toy to begin with gimmicks/ articulation wise, but deluxe Primes has always been fun and this guy is no exception. And no, goddammit, robot boys don't have camel toe...only fembots have robo-vuhjayjay.

RTS Wreckgar

I almost never buy 2 of the same mold/deco... so much for that. I'll be buying doubles of the Junkion repaint too, yeesh. Dare to be stupid!

RTS Windcharger

Guess who's my hundredth bot? This guy! Hasbro's been hitting it outta the park with their recent scouts (Breacher, Hubcap), notch this guy up as another winner for this size class.

Some non-recent release stuff:

G1 Chromedome, Brainstorm

I actually used to hate the HM's as a kid but after completing most 84-86 bots, i'm turning my attention to the post-movie bots and the driver gimmick is actually pretty cool. next thing you know i'll be looking for Prentenders. Ack.

G1 Roadbuster

Dude is missing some parts but i've been looking for this guy for quite some time. Lovin' the pre-TF origins, kibbleforming aside, he just looks like a badass.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011's 1st haul

happy new year!

Generations Kup

gotta love the slew of season 3 bots we've been getting. considering i'm THIS close to completing my g1 movie cast, quite stoked about matching it with these modern versions. this batch impresses again with some neat/innovative transformation. there's this whole thing you do with kup's cab section where you flip it around and you're like, whoa! where'd the torso come from? the shoulder joints are a bit too fiddly for my taste, and i don't dig the open mouth sculpt. but i'll be damn if i'm giving more money to these 3rd party parts maker companies just for a more cartoon accurate sculpt. what next? robit butt inserts? geez.

Generations Scourge


scourge here is another geezer: he's got facial hair! i was more keen on kup initially but this guy was a nice little suprise. i particular like how the wings form a cloak. they could've just stop at making the wings hinge but nooooo. they had to make the wings fold out and bam! robit cape.

RTS Legend Prime, Megatron, Starscream


i have a little WST collection going on; gotta love itty bitty robits. you can tell its the halcyon days for the TF franchise when theyre pumping out remakes of marquee characters. its cool that we're actually getting a gun megs and prime is kinda okay. but i love what they've done with starscream despite what i call cheating: fake parts that dont transform into what they represent - the robot cockpit is fake, the real cockpit folds behind the torso. and they flipped the limbs arrangement in plane mode - where the arms used to be at the sides of the plane and the legs form the thrusters, this version has it the other way around. yet they somehow retained the signature/classic look. pretty clever, actually.