17 December 2007

The base is empty

Heroic Decepticon is on holidays from 18th Dec 2007 to 09th Feb 2008, the fort is unmanned, the base will be empty- site updates, if any, will be sporadic depending on the type of internet connection.

This year's travels take me to Singapore, Innsbruick, Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Kassel, Hong Kong, Shen Zheng, Tokyo, Osaka and back to Singapore... for a mix of work and pleasure.

I leave you, the loyal reader, with an article inspired by the G1 Season 2 episode Attack of the Autobots.

Blue-eyed Autobots and Red-eyed Decepticons

I watched Attack of the Autobots from the Madman Generation One Complete Collection DVD set this morning while having pancakes. It inspired some thoughts... below.


Someway into Season 1, it dawned on me that all Autobots have blue eyes and all Decepticons have red eyes. I could differentiate the good from the bad by their insignias and by their eye colour as well.

This consistency is singularly one of the most beautiful G1 ideas to me. I love the consistency; I also love the consistency of Autobots having yellow gunfire and yellow based equipment and the Decepticons having pink gunfire and purple based equipment, but I digress.

The Blue-eyed Autobots & Red-eyed Decepticons (BEA + RED) idea became one of the most significant elements of the Season 2 episode Attack of the Autobots. The impact of that episode, to me, resonates till this day- when an Autobot turns evil, his eye colour changes to red.

Optimus Prime and Hound turns evil (note eye colour change)

When young, I was so obsessed with BEA + RED that I went about and painted all my Transformers’ eyes the ‘correct’ colour. Autobots would have sky blue eyes; Decepticons would have malevolent red eyes. I can confidently say I am not alone in my obsession and I have to look no further than the Lukis brothers (aka Unicron.com) to proof it.

For example, the Lukis brothers painted blue eyes for Sideswipe, Jazz, Trailbreaker, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Slag and Blaster; and red eyes for Starscream, Rumble, Reflector, Scorponok, Apeface and Abominus. As should be the way it is.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I get really agitated when the colourists for the now ongoing Transformers comics series’ cannot get simple eye colour right. With a few exceptions (Thrust has yellow eyes; Swindle purple; Unicron green; Shockwave golden/yellow; and etc), all Autobots should have blue eyes and all Decepticons should have red eyes.

As if using colours other than blue and red is not enough, these colourists add insult to injury by giving certain Autobots red eyes, completely destroying the beauty and precedence established in G1 and in Attack of the Autobots.

According to Dreamwave's MTMTE profiles, the Autobots are in trouble because the Dinobots are all evil, they have red eyes!

Come on people, get the colours right, please.

On a blue day, I don’t wish to see red in the wrong eyes.

07 December 2007

Metalverse Hot Rod- the Photos

Admittedly, I have been tardy.

The photos of this great figure were a long time in coming. The main dilemma I faced was selecting the best shots, out of 196 photos, to put up here. The challenge after that was, how to present all the material without having to subject readers to endlessly scrolling through the site.

Slide.com presented a solution.

It's time now, to let the pictures of this great figure speak for themselves!

The packaging (direct from Hobby Link Japan)

360 degree view of Metalverse Hot Rod

The Details
The absolute G1-ness of the details is breathtaking and seems to have come right out of Floro Dery's sketchbook.

Metalverse Hot Rod meets Quintesson Prosecutor
'I have nothing but contempt for this court' - Hot Rod in TFTM

Metalverse Hot Rod meets Blaster
'You've towered over the G1 me for 20 years. I've had enough! Who's the man now eh?' - Hot Rod to Blaster

Metalverse Hot Rod meets Scorponok
'Laddie, you may have grown, but I'd still p0wn you if I'm so inclined.' - G1 Scorponok to Metalverse Hot Rod


Saving the best for last- Metalverse Hot Rod meets Metalforce Optimus Prime! (yes, I did indeed go out and get this figure as I hinted to myself here).

'One day... an Autobot shall rise from our ranks...'

'... and use the power of the Matrix...'

'... to light our darkest hour.' - Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Movie [1986]

More pictures of Metalverse Hot Rod here.

Read all chapters in the Metalverse Hot Rod series
Chapter 01: Metalverse Hot Rod- An Introduction
Chapter 02: Metalverse Hot Rod- The Origin
Chapter 03: Metalverse Hot Rod- My reasons
Chapter 04: Metalverse Hot Rod- The Photos

Forum discussions
OZ Formers forum
Seibertron forum

05 December 2007

Transformers I really wanted as a kid... but were denied

I really meant to post this on 2nd December, but was in one form or another, waylaid. So here it is now...



No. I'm not going to buy that for you.

Ever hear that as a kid?

My brother and I heard that lots and lots... especially when we are clamouring for Transformers, which was considered really expensive back in the 80s. While we had a fair share of our 'requests' granted, there were just as many that fell by the wayside either ignored, ungranted or outright denied.

I cannot speak for my brother, but below is a list of Transformers that I really wanted as a kid but was either denied or did not get around to asking for.

So without further ado, here they are in order of priority (from 'least' to most desired):

[10] Pointblank (didn't get around to asking/buying)
I don't really know why I wanted him, but I remember I do. I thought he was the nicest Autobot Targetmaster among the lot. I still don't have him. *edit 17 Sep 2009*: I now have him mint in box with all inserts and sealed paperworks!

[09] Piranacon (didn't get around to asking/buying)
I know they are funny coloured, they look a little like candy and there are pink parts, but hey I was a kid and I used to even have She-Ra. I don't blame myself for liking them and in fact I still like them. Back then I did not know that each Seacon limb can actually become the weapon, I was simply bowled over by Transformers #47. I now have them. Here as well. My second Piranacon set which is MOC & MIB can be seen here and here.

[08] Dreadwind (didn't get around to asking/buying)
Thought that he is so much cooler than Darkwing. Once again, it was the Marvel Comics, more specifically Transformers #42: People Power, that bought me over on this one. I now have him: here and here.

[07] Runamuck or Runabout (didn't get around buying/asking)
Rightly or wrongly, I was fascinated with the Decepticon Battlechargers. These are not even Transformers per se and by right I should not be interested. What sparked my interest was Transformers #23: Decepticon Graffiti. Man, that was cool. I now have them mint on card, but Mint on Sealed Card ones would be great.

[06] Powermaster Optimus Prime (denied, too expensive)
Needs no explaining. Such a cool updated and huge version of Prime must be every kids dream. It was mine as well, but it was also too expensive. I now have him and 2 pieces of the C-310 giftset, one sealed, one open and an individual C-309 Godbomber in box. All to make up for lost time.

[05] Bluestreak (didn't get around buying/asking)
I remember the times at OG People's Park where I just gwarked at the awesome beauty of Bluestreak's box art - undeniably one of the most beautiful pieces of Transformer box art out there. I didn't get around to buying this because I thought the predominantly silver Bluestreak to be quite uninteresting at that time. I now have him. Here as well.; and a eHobby Anime accurate reissued Bluestreak here. I'm aiming for a Mint in Sealed Box Bluestreak, which I'll get someday... hopefully.

[04] Sideswipe (didn't get around buying/asking)
Love the alternate mode and loved the way Floro Dery stylized him for the cartoon. Of course, his special piledriver arms ability is another factor I am interested in. In the end, I chose his brother Sunstreaker over him when buying time came. What a ficker kid. I now have him.

[03] Snapdragon & Apeface (denied because too expensive)
I just love the Headmaster Horrorcons, who are in fact Triple-Changers in their own right! I also love the box art which is big, whole and didn't have parts of it cropped off. I now have them here: Apeface and Snapdragon MIB; Apeface MIB with inserts; Apeface and Snapdragon figures; posts in relation to Apeface and Snapdragon on the site.

[02] Skywarp (not sold in Singapore)
I feel he is easily the nicest coloured seeker, and the coolest as well. This guy has the ability to teleport, that'd surely come in handy anytime I'm in a fix. As noted here, this guy is unobtainable because it simply isn't sold in Singapore. I now have him.

[01] Ravage & Rumble cassette set (denied, repeatedly)
Yes, I wanted this so bad. I wanted Ravage so bad but for some reason no amount of convincing would sway mummy. Full story here. I now have them. I'm aiming for a Mint on Sealed Card Rumble & Ravage, which I'll get someday... hopefully.

Okay, I'll look for Pointblank now. The only guy I still have yet to obtain from my childhood list...

30 November 2007

A Transformers farewell

I was farewell-ed yesterday. Thanks go out to DN for organizing the farewell lunch; AR and RT for designing the farewell card; and to AR for organizing the gifts.

I left with gifts. Gifts bought from the contributions of the office as a whole- which in fact are farewell gifts from JPW.

I am extremely elated that all my gifts are Transformer related, with one of them actually being a Transformer!

Here they are...

Top left: farewell card based on the 1986 Marvel Comics adaptation of Tranformers: The Movie. I like the card and it's basis. TFTM #1 and its cover had always had a special place in my heart. It may not be the greatest Transformer cover, but there is a certain beauty in its composition and a G1-ness which is very alluring to me.

Bottom left: Transformers movie MISB Dreadwing. I like the Dreadwing toy mold. I've always been tempted to buy this but have always told myself (1) that its price was a little high and (2) that I will stick to only the characters the appeared in the movie. It's great that I got this as a gift!

Top right: Transformers movie Optimus Prime head bath set. This is something unexpected and in fact something I did not come across till a few days ago. It is pretty nifty, includes a bottle of bubble bath and an Autobot symbol shaped bath sponge!

Right middle: Robot Heroes movie version Optimus Prime & Blackout set. Nice set. Have not got around to getting the movie Robot Heroes and this set is as a good way to start as any.

Bottom right: This is definitely the highlight among the gifts; my eyes almost popped when I saw this- I was ecstatic! Madman Transformers: Generation 1 complete collection. A complete collection of all 98 G1 USA Transformer cartoon episodes brought together in a G1 style box and a collectible tin. On top of all the episodes and special features, this set includes an exclusive comic penned by Simon Furman and illustrated by Nick Roche. Simply beautiful and too good to be true, except, it is true!

A great big thank you to JPW for all the gifts and to AR for selecting and buying them! Thank you!

29 November 2007

Farewell not goodbye

I'm leaving. Today.

I'm not going to say goodbye. Goodbyes tend to be permanent and final. It is far preferable to say 'farewell'. Fare-thee-well in the meantime, because we will meet again.

Nonetheless saying farewell is still dangerous business.

Inevitably I may miss someone or something. If I happen to miss you, and I invariably may, the beauty of this platform allows you to respond by commenting- scroll to last line of article, click ‘comments’.

By all means, embarrass me if I omit to mention you, but in the meantime email me your non-office contact email so we can do naughty little things on the sly :-)


My first words of farewell go to my team.

Kiong, you’re the best boss of the boss (being Wayne) anyone could have. You are always approachable and easy to speak with. You seem to have the sharpest of minds and the clearest of insights- often, I think to myself ‘That was a great idea he just had’. I can always feel a sliver of home through you and through the food that you at times bring around. Thank you.

Wayne, you’re best boss anyone could hope to have. You are quite simply, the man. There is nothing the man does not know or cannot do- nothing stops the man. You are always happy, you are never fazed and you have a great sense of humour. Your management skills are unparalleled. I enjoyed all our little chats en route to meetings or to and from site- chats about RC racing, babies, eBay, computers, websites and… even Transformers. I look forward to receiving the final product of that transforming project you have on... heh

Michael, we’ve been on the same team since my start. We worked on two large projects as a team and I’m never happier. In terms of working in a structured, methodical manner, you’re at the forefront. I am continually amazed at the details that you produce in record time. I enjoyed listening to the anecdotes about your travels- particularly the part where you worked in a London cheese shop for a year and learnt all about… cheese!

Felicity, I was impressed with your professionalism since your start on the team. It takes fabulous foresight and tremendous tenacity to produce that amount of drawings for Package 4 at that level of intricate detail. I thought it funny that you broke your little toe hitting a sofa; that is, until I myself hurt my foot chasing moths. That’s hilarious retribution, if there ever were such a thing.

As much as I can, the following words of farewell go, in alphabetical order, to the office.

Adam D, you had one of the funniest horses in the ’06 Melbourne Cup- it’s name is something we all want to say out loud, don't we? I still retain one of the many green printed notes your team made.

Adam Rob., we’ve not had much opportunity for words. Still, I find your 4-ish ritual can of Coke and packet of something crunchy extremely intriguing if not in itself tempting.

Adam Rus., young padawan to Wayne 'the man' D., we’ve had a blast of a time. We unofficially formed the ‘HDD energon club’, ‘the coffee club’, ‘the chocolate cohort’ and ‘the Transformers club’, which at one point featured a Transformer on every person’s desk for a 3 meter radius around us. Though I’m leaving, I’m confident the good times will continue to roll, if not within, then without.

Adrian P., we have a few things in common: our ownership of Macintosh laptops, the secret knowledge of where the second box of Nescafe instant coffee is stashed and your courageous attempts at transforming a Transformer. I will certainly keep my eye out for your daughter’s close friend at my new work, and send her your regards when I see her.

Adrian Y., the ever energetic fellow yapper. I’ve yet to see you low on energy or caffeine for that matter. Where do you get that endless energy? Okay, it’s time for a coffee, or Teh Tarik maybe?

Andrew Chr, we’ve not spoken much but we’ve certainly had lots of beer together during and after the ’06 Christmas party. Cheers!

Andrew Cle, the quiet person who works so hard. I recall and appreciate you helping out with the WF bars during a trying period. That was great work. Thank you for that!

Annette, thank you for being always there and for the choice Friday goodies and for sponsoring our ‘HDD energon club’s’ private stash of M&Ms and coffee! I'm sure our eBay discussions will continue...

Ben, a short stint on our team then quickly gone. I hope we did not scare you off and if we did, I can assure you it's not my fault!

Brendan, unfortunately our largely similar names led to less confusion than they should have. We had a chance to create havoc, to do great misdeeds! Now we’ll just have to rely on your occasional wardrobe similarities to do the switcharoo with Roger.

Carol, one of the most kindest and friendly faces around. Thank you and Oscar for loaning Leader Class Optimus Prime to our desks where he stood proud and vigilant for a number of months.

Celine, you were on my right for a short while before disappearing to the other end of the office. I’m not too scary I hope. Glad you enjoyed the post Melbourne Cup Krispy Kremes.

Charlotte, welcome to Australia! I know you smile, perhaps incredulously, whenever I have my Transformers or McDonalds' conversations with Adam Rus. If there were more time, you would eventually get used to it... and perhaps even join us?

Christopher, you’ve introduced me to one of the best Laksa places in Sydney. Yum! Still, we’ve yet to have that lunch with our mutual friend, your housemate.

David S., we’ve spoken less than we probably should have- last time was during your own renovation of your house. It must be done by now, and done very well I’m sure.

Delia, I’ve got to say these things, I can’t help myself: you’re half my size but you eat twice my amount at double my speed- you are the little monster, the chocolate chomper, the coffee connoisseur, the comic collector and the bestest buddy.

Dickson, the quietly efficient worker. I’m glad that we’ve had the opportunity to sample great coffees, mochas and fine Jap food on a more than regular basis. There’s no reason for that to stop, I’m sure.

Ed, thank you for all your support and for answering my usually tax related questions. I enjoy the chats we’ve had and I hope I haven’t given you too many headaches. I do try to do my timesheets quite expeditiously, I am continuously conscious.

Feng, the master photographer. Your series of shots on the recent lunar eclipse were the most impressive I’ve seen anywhere. I’m sure there’s a lot I can learn from you with regards to photographing... for my Transformers!

Frank, the ever around, the ever reliable. I hope you have been following the Bleach manga more religiously than I have? I've still to hear the exploits of your August NZ ski trip by the way...

Graeme, you have been ever gracious in tolerating the chats and rants I have with Wayne about projects, project managers and all things sundry. I don't plan on stopping though. Next year I will continue to call Wayne on the phone (at 4:15pm that is) and you might have to continue hearing our rants.

Jan, thank you for your support and help. Thank you for organizing our Work cover and Fire Warden training sessions.

Jeff, you’re the first person I spoke with on my first Friday drinks session. I’d still like to see the ‘vintage’ computer punch cards that you said you used for drawing in the past. If only it had come sooner, I would have loved the chance to have worked with you on a China project.

Joel, ah, what can I say. You are few and foremost, you are a fellow friend of the Golden Arches. Think of me when you have your next Hotcakes or McMuffins fix. Better yet, let's go get 'em together.

Jorg, have not spoken with you that much, but why speak when we can have an ice cold beer together!

Joshua, I like your horse and hat designs for the JPW Melbourne Cup. I look forward to seeing what you will come up with next year. Pretty in pink maybe?

Lasz, thank you for your support. I enjoyed all the little chats we had =)

Maggie, you seem always happy and it is delightful to encounter you in the hallways- because you are always smiling and that lights up my day too.

Mat H., it was great working with you in preparation of the Waterproofing report. I think we had a great seminar and a blast of a time.

Matt M., I enjoyed the opportunity to work with you on the Asplund's Library competition, although in the greater schema I only did things which was relatively minor in scope.

Matthias, fellow Aconex user supreme. Thanks for giving highly insightful feedback about Aconex- you gave me the chance to sound intelligent during the AConnect seminar.

Monique, my 'trainer' for JPW Melbourne Cup '06. I jumped into the fountain before Jermaine, so how come we still lost to them? We gotta do a rematch, sometime.

Naigel, Santa Claus at the '06 Christmas party and giver of my kris kringle present. You have a great sense of humour and I enjoyed all our brief exchanges.

Niki, welcome to JPW. Here's hoping that you enjoy your stay. I know I did and I'm confident that you will too, in time to come.

Paul, I had fun preparing images and doing pin-ups with you during Sydney Open ’06. I vividly recall you retelling your first work day in Hong Kong and the peculiar disjunction between Cantonese and English. We should probably continue that conversation about that overbearing lawyer you mentioned... sometime soon.

Peter, we do have apparently similar dietary habits- Hunter Connection Rice Designer and Laksa! On another note, there is something about baby gifts...

Richard J., I’m continually amazed at how simple salads for lunch can fuel the amount of thinking that you must be doing daily. Also, thank you for having me on the SOH team.

Richard R., last Christmas you were halfway through telling me your theory of 'the origin of the universe'... I'd be delighted to finish that conversation soon, over some McDonalds breakfast? My treat of course.

Roger, the whizz-kid, young padawan to Wayne 'the man' D. and clearly one of the most capable workers around. You do 10 people's worth of work on a normal day. Our culinary explorations will continue. I will only go as far as Smallville; I will not be far away.

Supinder, we spoke about you and your new place and sort of stopped coming across each other in the hallway or pantry. Pretty bizzare.

Yuwan, you will now have to seek Adam Rus.'s help to get your Transformer, his name is Ricochet by the way, back into car mode.

Zoe, lucky last. Hope you enjoyed your brief stint with our team- your impeccable knowledge is extremely impressive. On a totally unrelated note, we share a common liking for Stranger than Fiction and, oh, have you watched Closer yet?

In closing, I'd like to mention Zhou, Viola, Florian, David G., Jo Park, Belinda and Carolin. They've all since left, but nonetheless have added to and enriched my time at the office.

So, farewell for now and in the famous words on Mel Blanc's tombstone, that's all folks!

25 November 2007

Sydney fan meet & Collectibles Fair

Some pictures of the OZ Formers message board fan meet at the Parramatta Collectibles Fair today. Needless to say, I was there. Needless to say, it was a blast.

OZ Formers board members... or at least some of us

Queuing up

After fair show, tell and talk plus trading

After fair show, tell and talk plus trading

Stencilator's amazing custom of Evac into Blades

Another of Stencilator's amazing customs- TF Movie tow truck into G1 Hoist

Custom painted TF Movie Bumblebee

Haul for the day

I got a complete Scourge, with the elusive disintegrator laser, at a bargain price- that was the Transformers highlight. Thanks go to Fungal Infection for the Omega Supreme parts.

The other highlight was something quite delightfully surprising. I found some guy selling minty new Kenner Super Powers figures, lots of them. I was so into this line when young, the only problem being that they were expensive and pretty rare. Capes made of cloth instead of plastic is the other reason I fancy this line so much.

So, I snapped up a good 13 Super Powers figures, each averaging out to AU$12.70. Nice!

22 November 2007

First Month

Verily dear sirs and m'ams, its been a month!

It's been a month since Heroic Decepticon went live.

It has been a very exciting first month and many interesting things have happened. Although the site only clocked a modest 1500+ page hits, I'm still determined to keep the content original and the topics innovative.

I thank all readers who've taken some time to view the site. According to Google Analytics, readers hail from more than 22 countries with Australia registering the most number of hits followed by the United States, Singapore and the UK.

I'm also happy to announce that we've formed friendships and fostered connections. 3 sites have kindly put up direct links to Heroic Decepticon:
I hope to increase our network and be linked from more and varied like minded TF sites, possibly Australian ones since the readership is the highest here. Onward I go...

'till next month...


21 November 2007

Metalverse Hot Rod- My reasons

Previous Chapter: The Origin

My disdain for Rodimus Prime have probably been made known on more than one occasion. Two occasions exist on this site alone- Why Wheelie?; and Why not Rodimus?

Seeing as that being the case, writing this article about my fascination with Metalverse (MV) Hot Rod would be wholly inconsistent and out of character. Still, its happened. And I found it rather odd.

I found it rather odd that I was (and still am) so enamoured with the MV Hot Rod. By rights, I should dislike Hot Rod as much as Rodimus because it is in this earlier incarnation that he interrupted Prime and Megatron’s fight leading to the demise of the former.

Now, I have to qualify my infatuation with MV Hot Rod, to myself at least.

These are my reasons:
  • The abosolute Generation One-ness of this sculpt on the whole.
  • It’s head sculpt and detailing are easily the most perfect and beautiful representation of Hot Rod’s visage across any release or type of release. The Hard Hero bust came pretty close, but nowhere near as good as the MV head sculpt.
  • Anthropometric proportions pleasing to the eye. Unlike crappy sculpts based on, for example Pat Lee’s blockish, disproportionate and ugly designs; MV Hot Rod is almost flawlessly anthropometric.
  • Right amount of detail without going overboard. It's a near 100% match with the Floro Dery designed Marvel Character sheets.
So there it is, my justification for liking what is otherwise a character I've loathed since 1986. And just 'cos I like MV Hot Rod so much, this is a gratuitous shot of him...

Headshot of MV Hot Rod

Next: The Photos

Read all chapters in the Metalverse Hot Rod series
Chapter 01: Metalverse Hot Rod- An Introduction
Chapter 02: Metalverse Hot Rod- The Origin
Chapter 03: Metalverse Hot Rod- My reasons
Chapter 04: Metalverse Hot Rod- The Photos

Forum discussions
OZ Formers forum
Seibertron forum

18 November 2007

Why not Rodimus?

Previous chapter: Why Wheelie [part 01]

The question is this: is there a Transformer that is more hateful than Wheelie? The answer is yes, that Transformer could be Rodimus Prime.


He is a Prime and he made a mess of it; in fact, he created the mess that resulted in his ascendancy to Prime-hood. Here it is...

Hot Rod: 'No you don't Megatron.'
Optimus Prime: 'Out of the (fraggin') way Hot Rod (because I can't get a clear shot when you're there and I'm too nice to risk hitting you).'
[screen captures from Seibertron.com]

In the history of G1, both the cartoon and comics, there is no worse Autobot leader than Rodimus Prime. As a leader, he is inferior to Grimlock, Perceptor, Springer, Fortress Maximus and of course Optimus Prime… and he has to constantly whine about it to boot. I have to look no further than the whole of Season 3 as prove of his incompetence. Since TFTM, Rodimus Prime has never had another decisive win over Galvatron and the Decepticons in either cartoon or comic.

There may have been some dubious leaders over the course of G1, but none (except Optimus) had the very power and wisdom of the Matrix at their disposal- none but Rodimus Prime, and he stilled sucked.

The Rodimus Prime toy lowers the stature of this character even further. I recall my disappointment on receiving him during my childhood.

I think that (1) its head is poorly sculpted; (2) it has one of the most simplistic and uninspiring transformations for a toy of its size and its price range; (3) in robot mode it has all of 2 points of articulation and is rigid like a viagra overdose; (4) it is badly proportioned as a robot; and (5) its vehicle mode feels like a lump of solidified lead.

Transformer with cataracts. No wonder he doesn't have a clear vision
[image from Seibertron.com]

With the above in mind, how can Trans-fans hate Wheelie more than Rodimus Prime? Surely they must hate Rodimus Prime if they are to hate Wheelie. At the very least, Wheelie doesn’t whine and didn’t get used as a shield and indirectly aided Megatron in killing the greatest Autobot of all. In fact, the Wheelie toy even has 2 points more articulation than the Rodimus toy.

For myself, I know that Rodimus Prime stands quite a few rungs lower than Wheelie in my Transformers ladder.

Read the other side of the story
Forum Discussions

17 November 2007

Why Wheelie?

A thought popped into my head; a thought related to Wheelie.

It’s a given that Trans-fans hate Wheelie with a passion. I can see a few reasons for this: (1) uninspiring name bordering on stupidity; (2) lousy toy and not so good box art; (3) wears a sun-visor like thing in robot mode; (4) arguably horrid colours; (5) lacklustre character; and (6) incessant rhyming speech patterns.

I’m not so sure about point (1), (4) and (6) myself.

With regards to (1), Worse Transformer names than Wheelie comes to mind- Big Daddy, Vroom, Erector, Slow Poke, Hubs, Aquafend, Road Pig, Space Case and Hooligan just to name a few.

With regards to (4), worse Transformer colour schemes exists. I'll name a few to colour my point- Metrotitan, Circuit, Slicer, Turbo Master and Battle Gaea.

I think speaking in rhymes for (6) is pretty cool in a fun way, but maybe not in a Transformer way. It would have been quite a challenge for writers to script Wheelie lines; maybe they were the original Wheelie haters and maybe it is for this reason that Furman refuses to write Wheelie into his stories?

The thought that popped into my head is a question.

The question is this: is there a Transformer that is more hateful than Wheelie? The answer is yes, that Transformer could be Rodimus Prime.

[box art courtesy of Botch's Box Art Archive]

Next: Why Rodimus Prime?

Read the other side of the story
Forum Discussions

16 November 2007

Lot 1870

This happened when I was still a student, in or around March 2005.

I was sitting around one day when I came across an eBay auction for a huge lot of Transformers. It was really huge and included hundreds of Transformers, mostly G1. Its Buy-it-Now price was AU$2000. I did a quick preliminary calculation and worked that if I bought this lot and kept what I wanted then sold off the rest, I could still make a profit if its cost price were AU$1500.

At that time, mummy gave me entire semesters of living expenses and Uni fees in one go because she just cannot be bothered to do it piece-meal month after month. So there was lots of money (in student terms) sitting in the bank. I made the money grow by (1) placing them in Saver accounts with high interest rates; (2) putting some in fixed term deposits; and (3) buying and selling Transformers (and toys).

Provided I could make that back and hopefully profit, AU$1500 wouldn’t cause a dent anywhere. However, the converse was not true- the seller needed money, and fast.

I waited for the auction to end without a buyer before contacting the seller to ask if he would part with the lot for $1500 exclusive of shipping. After some negotiation, we agreed on an AU$1870 inclusive of shipping price tag- hence the title Lot 1870. The only catch was that he wanted to keep one of the 2 Bruticus’ in the lot.

The lot arrived in 3 huge carton boxes packed to the brim with Transformers.

Pic shows 80% of the lot. TF boxes, parts and other TF related merchandise is not pictured.

I kept the following:
  • Jetfire complete
  • Trypticon (robot only)
  • Defensor complete with Hot Spot box
  • Superion (missing all little guns)
  • Spyglass & Spectro (no weapons)
  • TRU reissue Ultra Magnus
  • Some G1 cassettes
  • All misc parts that did not go toward completing figures
  • All TF related merchandise that came with the lot
I spent the next month planning the auctions; planning which items should be listed as a batch, what day and time to list and how to make the auctions attractive. I decided that anyone who buys more than 3 auctions from me and has a combined value of more than AU$50 would receive a free gift; AU$100 and above would get a bigger free gift- all gifts were to be TF related.

The gifts came from the lot either in the form of TF accessories, mini-bots, and other TF paraphernalia. This turned out to be very successful, so much so that the gross amount from all the auctions totalled almost AU$3500 after allowing for eBay fees.

I not only kept many choice mint pieces, but managed to pocket approximately AU$1630 in cash. =)


So there it is. One of many such similar stories. It’s all good because I have fun and can grow my Transformers collection at the same time.

13 November 2007

Autobots can't fly, can they?

This is one of a number of contentious, often discussed but never resolved G1 Transformer continuity issues. I’m going to put down what I believe to be true.

The contention: Autobots cannot fly, Decepticons can.

In MTMTE Parts 1 and 2, Autobots had flight capability but completely lost it from MTMTE Part 3 onwards. There were particular exceptions of course:

(1) Autobots who transformed into airborne vehicles could fly (sometimes without transforming);
(2) Autobots with some special ability could fly or have flight like powers. For example, Sideswipe (rocket pack) and Gears (air cushion legs); and
(3) all Dinobots can fly courtesy of rear mounted rocket packs. This is seen in SOS Dinobots and War of the Dinobots and seems to be a special ability the Dinobots have.

Galvatron in The Return of Optimus Prime quite authoritatively concludes the issue by sarcastically stating to Prime ‘Oh, I forgot, Autobots can’t fly’.

'Sideswipe, give me your rocket pack.'

This begs the question: Why can’t Autobots fly when they clearly could in MTMTE?

MTMTE was rife with animation errors, Autobots flying was one of them. That would be a straightforward explanation.

I think that Autobots can fly, they just choose not to. The Transformers are at war and have ‘drained the once resource rich Cybertron’, which is the main reason why the Ark and its crew were searching for ‘new sources of energy’. Flying of any form, presumably takes up large amounts of energon. The Autobots choose not to fly in order to conserve the Transformers’ already depleted supplies of energon.

They flew around in MTMTE Pts 1 & 2 because they have just awakened on a strange world and wanted to fight their enemies in the way they are most comfortable and accustomed with, that presumably includes flight. By MTMTE Pt 3, they were more familiar with Earth through Sparkplug and Spike, so their dire need of energy and its imperative conservation would once again become a priority.

There of course remains the matter of flying Dinobots. A simple reading of their profiles would say that they are not too bright. In all probability, they fly because they can and because they are too dumb to realize that they have to conserve energon.

The Decepticons, on the other hand, have no qualms about flying because if they run out of energon, they just take it.

It makes good sense to me if looked at this way. It is not that Autobots cannot fly while Decepticons can; It is more that Autobots choose not to fly, while Decepticons choose to.

11 November 2007

Under the Sea - Photogallery [part 3]

Previous chapter: Photogallery part 2 - The Toys

This is the final Under the Sea gallery. It focuses on the juicy part of this beautiful set; juicy for the extremely obsessive collector at least.

This set is not only 100% complete, in that it has all the toys, their parts, weapons, instructions and offer catalogues, but it has more.

I would consider the below as the 'bonus' part of this set:
  • unused sticker sheets for Nautilator and Overbite;
  • complete packing bubble and cardboard inserts for Snap Trap;
  • complete cardback packaging with little plastic insert tray for all 5 carded Seacons; and
  • unpunched cardbacks for all 5 carded Seacons
Short of an MOSC/MISB set, I believe that this is possibly that best and 'most complete' set of Seacons that can be obtained. I am so impressed that I gawk at it for unspecified periods of time on a daily basis.

100% complete Seacon parts
Unused sticker sheets for Overbite & Nautilator
Used sticker sheets for Skalor, Tentakil and Snap Trap

Unused Nautilator sticker sheet sealed in original packet

Complete packing bubble and cardboard inserts for Snap Trap

Complete cardback packaging with little plastic insert tray

Unpunched cardback

There is still one thing that intrigues me about this set- how could the original owner bear to part with such a perfect set of Seacons?

So I asked; and so I got a reply.

Next: Postscript [release date pending]

Read all Under the Sea chapters
Chapter 01: The Auction
Chapter 02: Their Arrival
Chapter 03: Photogallery [part 1] - Mint on Card & Mint in Box
Chapter 04: Photogallery [part 2] - The Toys
Chapter 05: Photogallery [part 3] - The Details
Chapter 06: Postscript

Related article: Operation Combiner

10 November 2007

Under the Sea - Photogallery [part 2]

Previous chapter: Photogallery part 1 - Mint on Card & Mint in Box

This gallery focuses on the out of package toys.

Overbite, Seawing, Nautilator, Skalor, Tentakil and Snap Trap are shown in their respective packaging- mint-on-card and mint-in-box. They are shown in their designated order, beginning from SE1 (Overbite) through to SE6 (Snap Trap).

Now, its time for the pictures to do the talking...

Seacons and Piranacon

100% complete Seacon set (cardbacks & box not pictured)

SE1 Overbite

SE1 Overbite

SE2 Seawing

SE2 Seawing

SE3 Nautilator

SE3 Nautilator

SE4 Skalor

SE4 Skalor

SE5 Tentakil

SE5 Tentakil

SE6 Snap Trap

SE6 SnapTrap

Next: Photogallery part 3 - The Details

Read all Under the Sea chapters
Chapter 01: The Auction
Chapter 02: Their Arrival
Chapter 03: Photogallery [part 1] - Mint on Card & Mint in Box
Chapter 04: Photogallery [part 2] - The Toys
Chapter 05: Photogallery [part 3] - The Details
Chapter 06: Postscript

Related article: Operation Combiner

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