26 April 2010

Hong Kong/Singapore trip 2010 - summary of Toy Hunting acquisitions

I'm now back in Sydney.

I was in HK and SG from 9th April till 25 April. Looking back, I no longer get these opportunities often. Going on a long holiday and having the time to toy hunt is increasingly becoming a luxury.

However, this year, I have been fortunate enough to have time for Tokyo in January and now Hong Kong and Singapore in April.

This trip to HK/SG was more a family visiting trip but I managed to squeeze in some toy hunting time and obtained a fair few Transformers, for which I'm incredibly happy.

I was pleasantly surprised that HK still held a few delightful surprises where vintage G1 TFs are concerned! Check them out below!

Here is a summary of the HK/SG Trip 2010 chapters:

24 April 2010

SG Toy Hunt - iGear limited edition Teletraan-1 (Computer Command Centre)

During my 'brief preview' of China Square Central on Sunday, I saw a very nice diorama of all the Henkei Autobot figures in the Ark, or more accurately, cloistered around Teletraan-1.

I was very intrigued, but did not see any Teletraan-1 set on sale. My friend, who owned that particular shop in CSC, was not around and so I did not bother asking.

Today is Sunday, and I'm back in CSC, for the weekly flea market day.

I walked into the same shop again and there my friend was. I asked him about the Teletraan-1 playset and he told me it was a limited edition fan made release called "iGear TF-007: Computer Command Centre". He had 2 sets left. This was such a beautiful and cartoon accurate depiction of Teletraan-1 that I just gotta have it.

Costing SGD$170.00, it was not cheap. But cheaper, I suppose, than having to buy it online and pay shipping since it weighs a whopping 3.5kgs in total.

My friend gave me the set in its original carton box, which is shown below. I have it back in Sydney with my now but have not opened it.

I was not previously aware of this item's existence. So on my return, I dug around the internet and found the following pictures of this set. Very, very nice. I can't wait to break it out and populate it with my G1 Transformers.

(note: the below pictures were not taken or made by me but were found from google)

Damn, this is so nice I'm almost thinking of getting a second set!

SG Toy Hunt - IDW Retailer Incentive Poster with Shockwave

Bought this from GB Comics when I was about to walk out the door.

It's a Retailer Incentive Poster available only to comic retailers in limited quantities in the US Retailers Summit back in 2006. It features company logos that are embossed in gold and Nick Roche's Shockwave from Transformers Spotlight #1: Shockwave.

This was framed and wrapped in protective cellophane which I didn't remove when I took the photos. The wavy lines in the photos are caused from the light reflections due to the cellophane wrapping around the frame.

23 April 2010

MIB Micromaster Combiner army

Did a brief preview of China Square Central today before the 'big day' on Sunday. 

Managed to find some reissue Micromaster Combiners MIB (all pieces still sealed) at good prices. I bought these since I didn't have these combiners.

Got each set for AU$47.50; Sixliner loose for AU$31.68; and Gears of War set MISB for AU$55.45.

Reissue Sixliner and Gears of War set

Reissue MIB Micromaster Combiners - Sixturbo, Sixtrain and Sixbuilder.

22 April 2010

SG Toy Hunt - Comic acquisitions

Left HK on 18th April and flew to Singapore. 

At the back of my mind, SG would have even less vintage TFs than HK.

Bought the following comics. Just catching up with what I'd miss in terms of Bleach and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Spotted Beast Wars: The Ascending and bought it since I missed it the first time round.

The highlight of this batch is Silver Surfer: Return of Thanos. I saw this when I was back in SG in July of 2009 but did not buy it (and have been kicking myself ever since). This time, I went in search of it again hoping I'd find it and I did! Hurrah!

Another opportunity buy here. Bought the Infinity Gauntlet TPB since its the continuation of Thanos Quest and also because its lots cheaper than getting it from AU.

17 April 2010

HK Toy Hunt - Back to Yau Ma Tei, lots of vintage MIB TFs!

Today, I'm revisiting Yau Ma Tei.

I'm returning to In's Point in Yau Ma Tei because I had been pondering whether to buy MC-19: Scopeman from them after I first saw it.

MIB Scopeman (notice Artfire MIB on Scopeman's left)

I thought that it'd be cool to have a pre-Transformers Takara piece that did not make it into the Transformers line. Scopeman would satisfy that criteria. I inspected the toy there and my goodness, it was in such pristine condition. I don't think I could have found a better piece even if I were to pick on eup from the toy shelves in 1974 (which is the date stamp on Scopeman).

Box is in C9.5, very near C10 condition; toy does not appear to have been transformed; all weapons still sealed in bags; unused sticker sheet; and includes all paperworks. What a great piece.

While in the shop, I noticed that the shop owner was selling C-313, C-314, C-315, D-319, D-320 and D-321 as a set. These were the Japanese repaints of the Sparkabots and Firecons, but unlike their US releases which came in cardbacks, these Japanese exclusive releases came in boxes!

MIB C-313 (Hardspark), C-314 (Hotspark) and C-315 ().

MIB D-319 (Guzzle), D-320 () and D-321 (Javil).

After some thorough inspection and a little modest bargaining, I decided to buy all of the above. Hoorah, to vintage G1 goodness.

The other highlights for today include finally getting ROTF Bludgeon and also opportunistically getting Animated Arcee (without also having to buy Animated Ratchet which I'm not interested in). The significance? These 2 were my first ROTF and Animated toys respectively.

Some photos of the acquisitions for today...

Animated Arcee = AU$34.72.

Bludgeon = AU$20.71 each.

15 April 2010

HK Toy Hunt - Diaclone/Microman blue Bluestreak MIB

Today was certainly a highpoint in the trip. For the first time ever, I'm going to get to see, hold and transform the mythical blue Bluestreak.

I woke up really early in anticipation and was going through over and over in my mind what I was willing to pay for such a rare and important piece in the Transformers mythos. Hoping against hope that it will be good condition. I had my cash and/or credit card on the ready.

Had lunch at City Hall Maxim with E's HK colleagues, then coffee at LGB in IFC, then some shopping with E before heading down to Richmond Centre. I could hardly contain my excitement.

Went to the shop and the shop owner showed me diaclone/microman blue Bluestreak and also white Sunstreaker. Wow!

I was allowed to take blue Bluestreak out of the box and inspect it. I must have stared at it, turned it around and around for 20 minutes. I was behaving like a kid in a candy store, like Charlie in the Chocolate factory, I was awestruck.

This is me gleefully holding the fabled blue Bluestreak.

I asked: "Are you willing to sell this?"

"Yes" the shop owner answered.

"How much are you looking at?" I quickly asked.

"HKD$*****" he said.

"Let me think about it" I said.

I thought about it for sometime, standing there, staring at the blue Bluestreak.

In the end, I decided that I will have to pass on this piece because:
  • there was yellowing on most of the white parts of the toy;
  • there was 'yellowing' on some of the blue plastic parts turning them deeper blue than should be the case;
  • only 2 of the 3 missiles were on the sprue;
  • there were no paper works where there should be at least this much stuff (on comparison with my diaclone/microman Jazz);
  • the unused sticker sheet was in poor C4 condition; 
  • the box was only a C6 or C7 at most; 
  • most importantly, the metallic blue paint application on the toy's right leg appears to have been repainted over very slightly; and
  • due to the above, the asking price was too high for a piece in this condition.
With reluctance, I had to pass. Had the condition been better or as good as my diaclone/microman Jazz, I would have bought the piece even if I had to pay a premium on price.

Would really have loved it. But it was not to be.

13 April 2010

HK Toy Hunt - Causeway Bay and Micromasters C-373 and C-374

Did a quick stop over at Surgar Street in Causeway Bay today en-route to other commitments and managed to find some vintage Transformers in a tucked-away corner shop!

Bought them and ran!

Japanese exclusive Micromasters with launch trailers MT-10 and MT-11 MIB

C-373, Japanese exclusive Micromasters with launch trailers MT-10 MIB (aka the US equivalent of the "Rescue Patrol"). C9.5 box (unpunched), Micromasters sealed to bubble and unused sealed paperworks.

C-374, Japanese exclusive Micromasters with launch trailers MT-11 MISB (unpunched box). Yup, this is MISB! This set is a repaint of the US "Battle Patrol" and is exclusive only to Japan.

12 April 2010

HK Toy Hunt - Scoping out Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei, lots of vintage TFs!

Today I went to the classic toy buildings in Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei. These buildings still houses the bulk of the collectible toy shops in HK and were still a sight to behold.

Having talked with fellow OZ Former member jgon, I knew that there were very little vintage TFs to be found in HK. So, my hopes were not high. However, to my delight there were a fair number of vintage TFs on sale in some shops in Richmond Centre (Mong Kok).

I snapped some pictures. Enjoy!

Transformers Juniors - Soundblaster, Soundwave and Trypticon, all MIB

Pre-Transformers Starscream and Browning

Vintage Transformers pocket books

MIB Japanese boxed Aerialbots

Pre-Transformers U.N.C.L.E. type Megatron MIB, US box Hot Rod MIB and Betras Barrage

Sixwing MIB

Loose vintage G1 and G2 pieces

Loose Star Saber and Superion

Japanese box RiD Brave Maximus MIB and Soundblaster MIB

Japanese Mail-away Ratchet MIB and diaclone Ironhide, Skids and Inferno

Nice Castle Greyskull diorama. Notice the Animated Arcee at the bottom of Castle Greyskull? I'm coming back for this when the shop opens.

I had a chat with one the shop owners and he said that he has a diaclone blue Bluestreak MIB that he is thinking of selling. He's going to bring that into the shop in the next few days. I'm very excited by the prospect of finally having a real chance of owning a blue Bluestreak, definitely one of my TF holy grails. Fingers crossed the price is going to be 'right'.

I will come back to this shop in a few days!


These were my acquisitions for today:

Reissue Micromaster Sixbuilder Devastator repaint MIB, vintage Sixwing MIB, and Fansproject Warbot (aka: Springer).

Sixwing MIB (C9 box, unused toys and unused sealed paperworks).

06 April 2010

MIB Transformers - redux

Yesterday I tried to bid for a number of G1 boxes. 

I did not win any. 

I wrote about the incident in "MIB Transformers - to box or not box".

Today, I tried to bid for some more Transformer boxes from the same seller. Guess what? The result was the same - I didn't win any.

I'm disappointed for sure, but not really sad, because as with yesterday's boxes, they went for much higher than I'd expected or would like to pay. All except for one that is.

The Highbrow box went for US$28.58, a tad less than I expected and less that what I would have paid. Can't say what happened, I don't know. My attention must have been diverted and I didn't even manage to put in a bid. Don't know whether I would have won or merely have driven the price up further.

I also needed the Mindwipe box and Brainstorm box. My highest bid for each was US$42.00, already pushing the boundaries of conventional wisdom if I do say so myself. I bidded for both and in both instances lost.

Mindwipe's box went for US$47.88. Very expensive in my estimation.

Brainstorm's box ended at US$44.00. Expensive by me as well.

Really, its kind of crazy.

As with yesterday's post, I'm going to list some of the other auctions with brief comments. I don't need any of these, but again, for the prices they went for, I'm glad I went and got these pieces MIB and complete in the first place.

Apeface box. Went for US$40.00. I think this is an acceptable price considering that Apeface (and Snapdragon) are relatively rarer than the 'standard 1987 Headmasters' and actually have larger boxes, which are more prone to damage. Glad I have my Apeface MIB, complete and with insert (cost me around US$120 inclusive of shipping).

Chromedome box. Went for US$51.00. Among the box auctions that ended today, this one takes the cake as being the most exorbitant. Where 'standard 1987 Headmasters' are concerned Chromedome stands out as being one of the most common, easy to find, and least rare. Yet, his box commanded a whopping 51 greenbacks. It's a little difficult to draw a comparison, but I reckon I got more bang for buck from my MIB Chromedome, with complete paperworks and with bubble insert for US$117.00.

Skullcruncher box. Ended at US$35.00. Pretty reasonable price. Might be borderline when shipping is factored in, maybe?

Nightbeat box. Ended at US$41.00.

Well, that's it. My little boxed adventure. It has come to an end.

On an additional note, Jay commented on yesterday's post and raises some interesting issues. I will attempt to address them in a separate post.

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