23 August 2020

Heroic Deception has moved and is (somewhat) back!

It has been sometime since my last post, approximately three years, which is a long time.

In the intervening time, I have not stopped collecting, but was not logistically set up optimally to take / edit photos and to post.

Recently, E and I have moved to a new place (yay!). The collection took some time to be set out and arranged. Plus E bought me a new computer (double yay!).

So, this post is the "first" act that I am doing with the new computer (not counting all the administration, installing, transferring of data, etc).

From OKC to now GVT, these are my current shelve arrangements.

The idea here is for the "middle band" of shelves to contain loose figures which are more or less at eye level and for the upper band plus lower band to have boxed MIB pieces that are either US boxed releases or Japanese boxed releases.

From left to right, the first "column" is meant for the 1984 and 1985 Autobots, which includes boxed and loose versions. The second "column" is meant for 1984, 1985 and some 1986 Decepticons (because there are generally less Decepticons than Autobots).

The middle "column" is for 1986 (Transformers: The Movie) characters and Combiners, both Autobots and Decepticons, where the boxed pieces features non-tamara toys such as Deluxe Autobots, etc. The fourth "column" from the left features the remaining TFTM cast, Season 3's cast, where the boxed pieces features Triple Changers, some of my favourite TFs. The fifth "column" from the left are the toys from the latter post-1986 years and contains a mix of Pretenders, Masterforce, Victory figures.

The above pic shows a stand-alone shelf opposite the long large ones. This showcases the pieces that are either very special or close to heart. Top shelf contains the trinity of holy grail gift sets, the VSX, VSY and VSZ, all of which are pristine and unused. One shelf down are Hottoys figures some of which belongs to E. Then, we have all 18 of the 1984 and 1985 original Autobots "cars" and in package (also unused) versions of the Season 1 Decepticons.

Below, is a close up of the shelves containing loose TFs, which I guess in photos, are more interesting to look at than a figure that is trapped in a package.


There it is for now, an update after some years.

Thoughts and comments welcomed of course.

I plan to write more. 

Heroic Decepticon, GVT, 23 Aug 2020, 10.42am.

02 December 2017

Birthday 2017 - Takara 21-Reflector MIB and a delightful discovery

For my birthday this year, I did not prepare a rare and significant present like last year for myself in anticipation.

However, during the mid-afternoon, E and I had some time before our dinner and movie (Justice League) with friends and E suggested that we could go to the toy shops. We went and I visited the shop where I previously saw had a MIB Reflector (Takara version). Previously, on multiple occasions, the shop-keeper said he did not have a price in mind for the Reflector.

This time, he did. So after some haggling, I bought it - see photo above. One of the main reasons I wanted this set was because it had unpunched missiles, still on the sprue.

After dinner and the movie, I was home and looking over the 21-Reflector. I realised that the red robot had white strips at the knees of each leg. This was odd because I do not see this for most Reflectors out there, except the set that the Devstar37 showed me some years ago (yes, I remember these useless facets).

For those that has followed this blog, you would recall that Devstar37 was the good friend that I bought nearly 50 pieces of early Japanese G1 from, back in early 2013. 21-Reflector was not one of the pieces he sold to me, but he did offer it to me a few years after. I did not end up purchasing his Reflector, but had photos of it stored on my phone.

So then, I checked the photos and was quite surprised. The general wear on the box all seemed to look alike. I quickly messaged Devstar37 on Facebook and asked if he thought the set I bought from the shop could be his. After some discussion and sharing with him the photos of the contents, he quickly came to the conclusion that the set I bought was, somehow, indeed his set!

13 September 2017

Live on Kickstarter: Transformers G1 Unofficial Photographic Archive (Volumes 1 & 2)

I would like to say, 'please read my entry before heading over to check out the project on Kickstarter', but this is one instance I do not mind you heading over to Kickstarter first, then coming back here. So, here is the link!



So now the "secret" behind my long and sometimes frequent absence on the blog here. It is not because there have been no acquisitions, it is not because I have nothing left to say about Transformers, and it is certainly not because I have left this blog for good.

It is, however, because G1-junkie / Hyperoptic, brr-icy and myself have been working on a very special project - the Transformers G1 Unofficial Photographic Archive!

[Optimus Prime double spread from Volume 1]

It's a good long title, to be sure. It was what we have settled on. Something that was suggested by E was along the lines of "Photographic Memories of G1 Transformers". Poetic, yes?

[Sky Lynx spread from Volume 1, incidentally, one of E's favourite toys!]

So, back to the Photographic Archive, which is actually a collection of 2 books. Volume 1 is 300+ pages and features all US released G1 Transformers from 1984 to 1990.

[Apeface and Snapdragon spread from Volume 1, incidentally, 2 of my favourite toys!]

Volume 2 is 200+ pages and features Japanese exclusive G1 Transformers from 1985 to 1992, and European exclusive G1 Transformers from 1984 to 1994.

[Blue Bacchus and Black Shadow spread from Volume 2]

In total, we are talking about 500+ pages of the good stuff, the solid G1 stuff. With hundreds of hours of shooting photos and writing and after more than 10,000 photographs, the books are now 90% complete.

Approximately 21 hours ago, we launched our campaign on Kickstarter. Here is the link again:

As of this moment, it is about 25% funded, which we are really happy about.

If you like G1 Transformers at all, do head over to Kickstarter (link above) to check out the project and if you like what you see, any support you can lend towards getting the books fully funded would be very much appreciated!

07 May 2017

Early Takara Transformers giftsets: VSX, VSY, VSZ, Goodbye Convoy and Goodbye Megatron

These are the earliest of the Japanese giftsets and in my opinion, the best early Transformers giftsets out there. The main reason is that they are not just giftsets of combiners, toys that should have been sold together any way, but they are giftsets of individual characters, some which could be released together, but some that are surprising when grouped together.

So here we are in year order of release:
Photo grouping which shows all the above mentioned giftsets. This is a real milestone for me and perfectly rounds out my objective nearly 3 years ago of streamlining and collecting only the early Japanese TFs.

30 April 2017

Takara Transformers VSY: Grimlock versus Soundwave & Frenzy Giftset

Today, I am focusing on the VSY giftset, which is Grimlock versus Soundwave and Frenzy. Notably, the giftset comes with a storybook and a cassette tape which contains read along audio of the storybook. VSY was a late 1985 release and is in fact a re-release of 26-Grimlock, 17-Soundwave and 18-Frenzy, from a year ago. In other words, all that this giftset contains are regular figures that were already on sale at the time.

Despite what TF Wiki says (here) of VSY being the "rarest of the 3 VS giftsets", I do not believe it to be the case. In fact, from experience, VSY is probably the most common of the 3 VS giftsets, with VSX being undisputedly the rarest of them all.

What is difficult, however, is finding a VSY in a nice box that is not tattered and torn.

The above photo shows VSY together with each character's Japanese individual release and US packaged counterparts. Frenzy was actually released three times: first as 18-Frenzy in the Fight! Super Robot Lifeform line in mid 1985, then in the VSY giftset in late 1985 and again as D-58: Frenzy (with gold weapons) in 1986.

A further note that the photo above shows:

  • the first release of 17-Soundwave, box is dated "(C) Takara Co. Ltd. 1974-1983"
  • both the first and second release of 18-Frenzy. The first release is dated "(C) Takara Co. Ltd. 1974, 1983" and the second release is dated "(C) Takara Co. Ltd. 1983" and has a bar code at the bottom.

29 April 2017

Takara Transformers VSZ: Sunstreaker & Skids versus Buzzsaw Giftset

I obtained this set a couple of years ago. It was only in the past 2-3 days that I had taken the time out to photograph it properly and also to write about it.

It would be the first in a series of articles involving the Generation 1 Japanese "VS" sets.

The post focuses on the "VSZ" giftset, which is Sunstreaker & Skids versus Buzzsaw. Notably, this is the first appearance of all three of them in the Japanese line. For Sunstreaker and Skids, the VSZ set was the only time they were released in Japanese packaging.

Below is a photo of each character with their US packaged counterpart. Buzzsaw was released in the US with Soundwave.

The key difference between the Takara Japanese release and US releases are: VSZ Sunstreaker has strong springs in each of his arms; VSZ Skids has a strong spring launcher; and VSZ Buzzsaw is stamped differently and have different numbers below the wings.

The above is a photo showing a further counterpart of Buzzsaw, as he was released as D-106: Buzzsaw as part of the D-101: Soundblaster release in 1987.

14 April 2017

Takara Japanese giftsets VSX - VSY - VSZ!

Complete my trio of "VS" Japanese giftsets recently and am over the moon, yay!

From bottom to top:
VSX: Convoy vs Megatron giftset (1984)
VSY: Grimlock vs Soundwave & Frenzy giftset (1985)
VSZ: Sunstreaker & Skids vs Buzzsaw giftset (1986)

VSX: Convoy vs Megatron giftset (1984)
(this set is unused and comes with the poster)

VSY: Grimlock vs Soundwave & Frenzy giftset (1985)
(this set is unused and comes with the storybook)

VSZ: Sunstreaker & Skids vs Buzzsaw giftset (1986)
(this set is stickers applied and missing some catalogue papers, but it has no flap crease!)

Photo also showing the other 2 rare early giftsets:
Goodbye Convoy giftset: Convoy, Alert, Ligier (1986)
Goodbye Megatron giftset: Megatron, Starscream (1986)

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