25 January 2008

The road to Victory Part 01- The Victory Battle

I was trying to help Botch locate a scannable print quality back-of-box image of the Victory battle scene.

For that purpose, I dug out my Victory Saber giftset (which is one of the sweetest Transformer toys I have).

To my horror (and probably Botch's), there is no back-of-box battle scene behind the Victory Saber giftset. Ever the opportunist, I took the chance to snap some high resolution shots of the giftset.

This would be one of them.

C-328: Victory Saber
full size image here

Next: The Acquisition

Read all The Road to Victory chapters:
Chapter 01- The Victory Battle
Chapter 02- The Acquisition
Chapter 03- The Photos

23 January 2008

My place of power

I'm back in my place of power. I'm back in Singapore.

What was previously logistically impossible has now entered the realm of the lucidly possible. I can start to photograph particular toys for articles I've intended to write for this site; I can document, to a certain extent, the main bulk of my TF collection; and I can also help my fellow TF enthusiast Botch scan in the Victory back of box battle scene from my Victory Saber giftset.

Before voraciously hunting down any and every vintage G1 TF I see in Singapore, I thought it nice to do a little 'best of' tally for the HK trip, from which I bought many many TFs.

Most satisfying moment: When the shop-keeper finally decided to sell the 2001 dealer exclusive eHobby promotional poster after initially telling me to take a hike.

Hardest decision made: D-93: Scorponok MIB. It is priced at a point between where I would say either 'yes' or 'no' to a piece in this condition. It took me 3 days to decide.

Unexpected find: This is a tie between (1) the 2001 dealer exclusive eHobby promotional poster; and (2) Takara SCF Act 2. Little did I expect that after a gap of almost 6 years would I come across these fine gems again.

Favourite buy: D-307: Overlord. This was one of the Transformers that 're-awakened' me back in 1999. It is just great to be able to obtain him here at a bargain price, complete and in box.

Worst buy: Hasbro Masterpiece Starscream. Got it on an impulse and at a less than competitive price. I got a feeling I'll be telling myself this more than a couple of times in the following months- 'I shoulda' waited for the Takara G1 coloured MP Starscream release'.

Best bargain: Encore Megatron MISB for HK$323 (= US$41.36). Doesn't get any better than I'd like to think.

If I could only buy one thing, it would be: 2002 New Year Special Convoy- because I promised AR I would get it for him.

Highlight of the trip: D-307: Overlord. For the reasons above.

22 January 2008

HK toy hunt '08 - The Final Tally

HK toy hunt '08 is coming to a close.

Today, I'll be leaving HK for Singapore. Before that, I wanted to do a final tally of all the toys I've acquired in Japan & Hong Kong:

Transformer books:
- トランスフォ-マ-G1キャラクタ-大全集
- Transformers Visual Guide
- Dealer exclusive 2001 eHobby reissue promotional poster

Transformer Toys:
- D-93 Scorponok MIB
- D-307 Overlord MIB
- Takara SCF Act 2 MISB
- 2002 New Year Special Convoy MISB
- WST Sideswipe
- KISS Player Rodimus MISB
- Encore 01: Convoy
- Encore 02: Megatron
- Encore 03: Soundwave
- Encore 04: Starscream
- Encore 05: Ironhide x 03
- Encore 06: Ratchet x 03
- Alternators Mirage MISB
- Alternators Rodimus MISB
- Hasbro Masterpiece Starscream MISB
- Music Label Soundwave (Spark Blue edition) MISB
- Music Label Rumble & Frenzy headphones MISB

Other toys:
- Bandai Bleach Characters Series 5 MISB
- Bandai Bleach: The Styling MIB
- Kaiyodo Rei Ayanami figure (1999) MOSC
- DC Direct Wonder Woman (2008)

Bye for now!

Next stop, Singapore and on to more toys...

20 January 2008

[HK toy hunt '08] Hot Rod & hot babe

These 2 are probably my final acquisitions in HK. Just happened to be in the Causeway Bay area after lunch and bought these as I walked past.

- Transformers Alternators Hot Rod
- DC Direct Wonder Woman

The Hot Rod and the hot babe, here they are:

Alternators Hot Rod and Wonder Woman

The nicest Wonder Woman sculpt so far...

18 January 2008

Encore Transformers Encore

'Not a reissue Optimus and Megatron, again. Not Starscream... again...' was my reaction to the first wave of Encore figures.

I must have bought every single Optimus Prime /Convoy reissue since the first Takara 01-Convoy reissue in 1999 to New Year Convoy, to TFC #00 and even the disgraceful TRU 'exclusive' reissue whose only saving grace is the inclusion of a grey Roller. I have similarly bought every Megatron reissue since the Takara 16S one. Ditto for Starscream.

It comes as no surprise to myself that I said 'I'm not touching this Encore line with a barge pole'. It's quite unnecessary to add another member to the army of Primes, Megatrons and Starscreams that I already have.

As it were, I still had a particular weakness for Encore 03: Soundwave even though I have the TFC and TRU reissues. Soundwave unlike Prime, Megatron and Starscream, never got reissued in a G1-styled box.

I know, I go weak-kneed in front of all things G1 and Encore Soundwave came in a pretty G1-styled box.

4th Jan '08, HK: Walked around and chanced across Encore Starscream. I decided to buy him because (1) the Decepticon symbols are printed on like for Sunstorm; (2) he had light yellow glass for his cockpit; and (3) the price at HK$200 is quite irresistible.

Starscream became the first of my Encore collection.

Later in the day, I nabbed Encore Ironhide & Ratchet. These 2 are must gets for me because (1) they have not seen a market wide reissue since their eHobby release in 2001 (as seen in this promo poster here, and here); (2) cartoon accurate paper 'heads'; and (3) printed on vehicle stripes that were previously factory applied stickers.

16th Jan '08, HK: Over the last week or so, I became quite taken with the Encore series, probably due to the pretty boxes and the news that Omega Supreme will be one of the upcoming Encore figures. I woke up that morning with an epiphany- I gotta collect the entire Encore line, just like I did for the Takara TFC series.

I went out that day an immediately scored Encore Soundwave at Yau Ma Tei for HK$350 (= SGD$64.47 = USD$44.83).

17th Jan '08, HK: Slightly frustrated that I couldn't also obtain Encore Optims and Megatron the day before because they were all but sold out, I decide to try a new location- Wonderland at Hong Hom.

I was surprised to find Encore Megatron there at HK$380 but with a further discount making the final price HK$323, even cheaper than Encore Soundwave! Grabbed Megs and ran to Mongkok where I chanced upon an Encore Optimus Prime at the very first shop I arrived at.

I bought him massively discounted at HK$430. Encore Primes go for anywhere between HK$480 to HK$600 usually.

And so here it is, the complete Encore series, at the present moment...

Complete Takara Transformers Encore series as of January 2008

17 January 2008

[HK toy hunt '08] Optimus Prime & Megatron

Today's acquisitions... Encore!

- Encore 01: Optimus Prime (HK$430 = SGD$78.84 = USD$55.13)
- Encore 02: Megatron (HK$323 = SGD$59.22 = USD$41.41)

- WST Sideswipe (HK$40 = SGD$7.33 = USD$5.13)

Highlight of the Day: Encore Optimus Prime if only because its sold out all over but I managed to find it and at an extremely good price. Among reissue Primes, Encore 01 is uniquely different in that Prime's Autobot symbols are printed on rather than needing to be stickered on.

16 January 2008

[HK toy hunt '08] D-93 Scorponok

Revisited the same shop I bought Overlord and KISS Player Rodimus from to re-check out something I have been deliberating over: D-93 Scorponok.

After some more onsite deliberation, I decided to nab him. So here it is, today's haul:

Highlight of the Day: MIB D-93 Scorponok

15 January 2008


After almost 4 years of searching, I finally chanced upon it.

So what is the 'it' in question?

'It' is a copy of トランスフォ-マ-G1キャラクタ-大全集.

Since 2004, I have searched high, low and down under for this without avail. This book had an extremely limited print run and was quickly out of print probably because it was released in an around the same time as Transformers Generations.

This is a true gem because of some of the treasures within...

Fortress Maximus entry with full Fortress Maximus box art

Various illustrated entries with full Metroplex and Sky Lynx box art

Various illustrated entries with full Octane and Trypticon box art

14 January 2008

[HK toy hunt '08] eHobby goodness

Another all out day at Mongkok, Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Shah Tsui.

Today's acquisitions include:

- MISB Bleach: The Styling (full set including Kurosaki Ichigo, Kuchiki Rukia & Kon, Abarai Renji, Hitsugaya Toushiro & Rin Rin, Matsumoto Rangiku and Grimmjaw Jaggerjack.);
- MISB Music Label Spark Blue Soundwave (HK$430);
- MISB Music Label Rumble & Frenzy headphones (HK$299)
- MISB Alternators Mirage in USA box (HK$680);
- MISB Takara SCF Act 2 (HK$350); and...
- Dealer/ distributor exclusive Takara/ eHobby promotional poster from 2001 (not disclosing price, heh)

14th Jan '08 toy haul

Transformers Music Label- Spark Blue Soundwave with Rumble & Frenzy headphones

All in all, a really good day if I do say so myself. I am happy to have landed Alt Mirage in USA box for a bargain price (now I can rip open my European box Alt Mirage) and to have found something as 'vintage' as SCF Act 2 MISB and at such a great price.

MISB US box Alternators Mirage


Highlight of the day: Dealer exclusive eHobby promotional poster

I have over the years bluffed, bludgeoned and begged for this without avail. This is so special because it was only given to dealers who distributed the very first wave of Series 1 & 2 reissues, which were exclusive to eHobby, back in 2001.

Dealer exclusive Takara/ eHobby reissues promotional poster (2001)

Now, it is mine!

'till tomorrow...

[HK toy hunt '08] Oh my god... Master

Holy rusted metal Batman! (yeah, ok, its a cheassy quote)

I just couldn't believe it when I saw it today- a Japanese box MIB Overlord... at an amazingly good price. From my estimation, it is at least 40 to 50% less than what Hong Kong shops were asking for 2 to 3 years ago.

This MIB Overlord is a definite upgrade from my original one (see The Origin Story Chapter II)

The Takara KISS Player Rodimus, bought from the same shop, is similarly an upgrade from my Alternators Rodimus.

MIB Overlord and KISS Player Rodimus

Overlord- complete contents and paperworks

Highlight of the day: It's hard to pick one for today but since I'm such a purist G1 buff, the Highlight of the Day award must go to- D-307 Overlord.

09 January 2008

[Japan toy hunt '08] Visualizing Transformers

From a Kinokuniya Bookshop along Forest Road in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo comes today's haul- The Transformers Visual Guide.

[Japan '08] God Primus (Transformers Generations lucky draw prize)

The only reason I was there was to use the toilet.

After I achieved my 'objective' I walked around the Kinokuniya bookshop. What I saw blew me away, big time. There he was in a glass cabinet, so near yet so far, the grand prize for the Transformers Generations competition in 2004- God Primus!

Equally majestic is another lucky draw grand prize, black Tracks, who was standing right next to God Primus.

I so wanted to buy these 2 figures, for whatever the asking price, but our broken and unintelligible Japanese failed to convince them to part with the figures, which were originally not for sale anyway.

Some pictures for me to drool over...

Display shelf

Black Tracks and God Primus

Black Tracks

God Primus

Close up of God Primus

04 January 2008

[HK toy hunt '08] Lots of Transformers

Have a few short days in HK before jetting off to Japan. I had to make hay while the sun shone- the result is the acquisition of many Transformers...

Today's haul:
- 2002 New Year Special Convoy (for AR);
- Encore 04: Starscream;
- Encore 05: Ironhide;
- Encore 06: Ratchet;
- Hasbro Masterpiece Starscream
- Bleach Characters Series 05
- Rei Ayanami special edition figure (Kaiyodo, 1999)
- トランスフォ-マ-G1キャラクタ-大全集 (this is a Transformers visual reference guide much like Transformers Generations)

Too many Starscreams!

Today's haul showing Bleach Characters Series 05 and Rei Ayanami exclusive figure from 1999

Transformers visual reference guide - トランスフォ-マ-G1キャラクタ-大全集

I'm happy to have gotten Bleach Characters Series 05 in a sealed box with all 8 figures (some are repeats) still sealed in their individual little boxes. I paid a meager HK$300 (US$38.40) for the box compared to the US$50 to 60 I would have had to pay for 4 out of the 8 figures if I were in Australia and have to order this off eBay.

Highlight of the day: トランスフォ-マ-G1キャラクタ-大全集

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