05 July 2007

Chapter III: A New Begining (1999 to 2001)

Transformers. I have decided to collect Transformers again.

Well maybe not ‘again’ unless we consider Transformers given to a kid as toys which he smashed into one another, used for fights and Transformed more than a dozen times a day ‘collecting’. This was, I decided, to more serious, more precious, or so I wanted myself to believe.

My objectives were:

(1) To buy ‘back’ any and all Transformers that I wanted as a kid but either was denied or didn’t get around to buying. The Ravage & Rumble set comes to mind.

(2) To buy ‘back’ all Transformers characters not available in Singapore back in the 80s. Some of these include Skywarp, Thundercracker, Ironhide, Trailbreaker and etc.

(3) More specifically, to get ‘back’ every single Transformer from Series 1 (1984) to Series 3 (1986).

(4) To get selected characters from Series 4 (1987), Series 5 (1988) and Series 6 (1989).

(5) To get selected characters from the Masterforce and Victory series’.

On retrospect, it was a great time to start collecting Transformers. On the one hand, a lot of people I knew were into it and so I got good deals on complete toys and parts; on the other hand, Takara was beginning to notice how hot G1 Transformers were becoming and they started reissuing toys.

A $500 budget was all I had to fulfil the dream. Through flea markets, classified ads and eBay, I had to strategically buy cheap and sell high; then reinvesting the profits to buy cheap again and sell high again. I bought entire lots of Transformers from Singaporeans who have outgrown them, kept what I wanted and sold off the remainder in flea markets and on eBay. On top of all these, I bought all G1 reissues (yearly specials, eHobby exclusives, TFC) that Takara had to offer in triplicate.

This period, from 2000 to end 2003, is what I would regard as the ‘Golden Era’ of Transformers collecting if only because of the deluge of reissues of some of the most desirable G1 characters, sometimes over and over again (e.g.: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Sideswipe mold variations, Decepticon seekers), at a cheap and affordable price.

For example, C-310 which included that ultra rare Godbomber retailed at S$120, Japanese G1 styled box D-16 Megatron retailed at S$120, TFC #01: Jazz retailed at S$40, Predaking giftset retailed at S$160 and so on. Any seasoned collector would find these prices a steal.

Of course I bought all the rare reissues and by rolling my money in buying, trading and selling Transformers I soon had a sizable collection by 2003. In fact, Sunstreaker, bought for S$85 from JX, was the final guy that completed my Series 1, 2 or 3 loose and complete but unboxed Transformers.

That was in or around mid early 2002, afterwhich a new objective was conceived...

Next: Chapter IV: Boxed Agendas (2002)

Read other Chapters of The Origin Story...
Chapter 0: Prologue
Chapter I: Fantasies & Inflections (1984 to 1991)
Chapter II: The Re-awakening (1999)
Chapter III: A New Beginning (1999 to 2001)
Chapter IV: Boxed Agendas (2002)
Chapter V: Coming to Australia (2003 to 2006)
Chapter VI: Crisis on Infinite Fronts (2006)
Chapter VII(1): A Transformers Renaissance (2007)
Chapter VII(2): A Transformers Renaissance (2007)
Chapter VIII: 1988 Once More (2009)

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