30 May 2010

D-328: Dinoking Giftset - Photos Part 1

I'll write more about this giftset soon, but right now, here are some detailed pictures of the set.

Next: Out of the box and into the insert!

28 May 2010

D-328 Dinoking giftset auction has ended - someone is going to have a USD$2,500 hole in the wallet

Been looking at this for days with interest. This afternoon, at around 2pm Sydney time, the Dinoking giftset auction ended.

22 bids and a week after its listed, the D-328 Dinoking giftset MISB has ended at the very sweet price (for the seller) of US$2,481.65! Whoa!

Again, here's the auction link with actual auction title (but despite what it says, this is not an AFA graded piece): Transformers G1 Victory Dinoking Giftset MISB D-328 AFA.

Now, as if this was not enough, another seller has today listed 6 individual boxed Dinoforce robots MIB for auction as a set. The starting price? US$1,125. Inspired by the above auction? Probably.

Will watch how this one pans out in a week's time.

27 May 2010

D-328: Dinoking giftset auction update - 24 hours and 5 bids later

So here we are, 24 hours and 5 more bids later... the fabled D-328 Dinoking giftset auction is now at a whopping highest bid of US$2034.99!

With only less than 15 hours to go, who knows what's going to happen. This has already gone beyond my expectations and is hovering around the amount that Jay predicted. Will it go higher tomorrow? Will go past the $2.5K mark? We'll see tomorrow.

Auction link with actual auction title (but despite what it says, this is not an AFA graded piece): Transformers G1 Victory Dinoking Giftset MISB D-328 AFA

26 May 2010

D-328: Dinoking giftset auction update - now at USD$1,500.99

It's been approximately 24 hours since I wrote the post below, and no prizes for guessing, the Dinoking auction has gone up another few notches in terms of price!

It now has 15 bids and the winning bid at the moment is US$1500.99.

Auction link with actual auction title (but despite what it says, this is not an AFA graded piece): Transformers G1 Victory Dinoking Giftset MISB D-328 AFA

It has 1 day and 16 hours to go, so I'll be back here tomorrow to report on progress. In the meantime, I'm going to have to revise my estimate of how much I think this will go for. As Jay commented yesterday, there's a very good chance this will hit the $2,000 mark.

25 May 2010

Wow, C-328: Dinoking giftset MISB auction on eBay

For years and years, I have not seen a Dinoking giftset on auction on eBay. That was how rare it was (and still is). Now, a couple of days after I have acquired Dinoking, I see an auction on eBay for Dinoking, MISB no less!

Judging from the questions that the seller's been asked, it seems that there is quite a bit of interest for this piece from China. I'm not surprised that interest for this would come from many parts of the world because this giftset used to only be available in Japan and a few other Asian countries back in 1989. So, there isn't a large quantity of these produced back in the day (and also factoring in Transformers' declining popularity by the 90s).

There's still 2 more days to go and its already bidded up to US$1225.00 now!

Auction link with actual auction title (but despite what it says, this is not an AFA graded piece): Transformers G1 Victory Dinoking Giftset MISB D-328 AFA

23 May 2010

The Dinoking Dilemma

So I recently bought D-328: Dinoking. As mentioned, it is a very nice set and in great condition. Here's a gratuitous photo of the giftset. 

There happened to be 2 distinct downsides though - (1) the shells were a little sticky from age; and (2) Gouryuu and Kakuryuu had head and leg joints that were so tight that they simply cannot be transformed.

Before I go on, a little bit of etymology for the uninitiated (like I am). I include below the Monstructor equivalent names for the Dinoforce members and also a translation of the meaning of each Dinoforce member, kindly provided by Goktimus Prime of OZ Formers.

Icepick = Gouryuu = 剛竜 ("Hard Dragon")
Slog = Kakuryuu = 角竜 ("Horned Dragon")
Bristleback = Gairyuu = 貝竜 ("Shell Dragon")
Wildfly = Yokuryuu = 翼竜 ("Winged Dragon")
Birdbrain = Rairyuu = 雷竜 ("Thunder Dragon")
Scowl = Doryuu = 土竜 ("Earth Dragon")

Back on the case. Now, (2) is an issue because a Transformer that cannot transform is not a Transformer, no? The problem is compounded further by the fact that I cannot combine Dinoforce into Dinoking if Gouryuu and Kakuryuu cannot transform. That's just unacceptable.

Studying the joints closely, I see that they appear to be either tight and unmovable due to age and having never been transformed in years and years or in Gouryuu's case, due to a case of rust - the pins that hold his head and legs together appear to have rusted.

First I tried to 'force' them and hope that they budge. However, after applying force that was unnaturally strong for toys of this nature on both pieces, I thought I'd better stop for fear of breaking them (bearing in mind the amount of greenbacks these each guys cost, if I can even find replacements).

That was Tuesday. I'd all but lost hope. Last night, after E and I had much fun putting Sixturbo, Sixliner, Sixtrain, Sixbuilder and Sixwing together and using them as our army in a role play fight in which E's Sixturbo emerged victorious, we decided to try the Dinoforce joints again. After, combining so many robots, we were in the mood to combine one more - Dinoking!

Gratuitous shot of Sixturbo, Sixliner, Sixtrain, Sixbuilder and Sixwing together with the other Scramble City combiners we played with (see why we need Dinoking?).

E suggested, 'hey, why don't we soak the joints with Zippo Lighter Fluid?'. I thought for a moment and said 'why not, its so volatile we know it'd evaporate and not stick on the toy. And we also know from our sticker removing experience that it does not damage plastic of this nature. Let's give it a go!'.

We began pouring Zippo Fluid onto the hole where the pin the holds Kakaryuu's head in place is. We were hoping that it will filter down to the rest of the pin and hopefully either dissolve grime that was preventing movement or simply lubricating the pin so that Kakaryuu's head can move. Zippo dries off pretty fast, so we repeated the process for about 15 minutes. Result! E could now move Kakaryuu's head back and forth and there was less and less resistance. I was really happy, but I knew that we were only halfway there because Goryuu is going to be the real challenge.

Picture showing Kakaryuu with his head already sucessfully moved down. Once we managed to move the head a little, we started pouring Zippo Fluid down the openings at the back of his neck.

The issue with Gouryuu is this - all of his pins (totalling 2 actually) were rusted. We suspect it was the rust that prevented his head from being folded down and his legs from being folded back. At the very least, we needed to fold his head down to combine into Dinoking.

As with Kakaryuu, we soaked his pin openings with Zippo Fluid. The following pin openings were soaked over a period of 30-40 minutes.

About 25 minutes into the process, we began to be able to swing Gouryuu's legs back and forth. As we repeated this a couple of times, lots of rust coloured Zippo Fluid can be seen flowing out of the joints of the legs and from the pin. By lots, I mean, lots. In fact, the rear of the legs is still stained a little brown from the rust fluid because we were not able to clean all of it off. See pic below.

By this time, Gouryuu's head still would not budge, not even a micro inch. It's just stuck tight. E and I each separately applied an amount of force the would surely have broken any TF's limb off, but Gouryuu's head still would not budge. We were at it for more than an hour - soaking with Zippo Fluid, trying to move the head, soaking with Zippo Fluid again, trying to move the head again...

No result. We stopped after an hour and 15 minutes. I helped E do her nails - French finish! We finished with the nails and then E suggested trying to move Gouryuu's head again. By this point, it must have been 2 hours from when we started to fix him. We tried for another 10 minutes with no results. But soon, E cried out 'hey, I moved it a little, very little'. Now, there was a very slight gap between the head and the body. We poured Zippo into that gap like there was no tomorrow. After another 20 minutes of effort, we were able to move the head back and forth!

Yes, we have succeeded!!!

It was no easy task. There is also a lot of rust in Gouryuu's head pin as can be seen from the brown residue between his neck and body in the below photo.

We can now transform Gouryuu and Kakaryuu. Here they are in both modes.

The highlight of the night, combining Dinoforce into Dinoking and standing him next to Monstructor! (photo taken by E)

Day shot of Dinoking and Monstructor... watch out Teletraan-1!

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