25 June 2011

The full story (Part 3) - So rare they ought to be extinct

If you would recall from the previous chapter (link above), the deal for Marlboor Wheeljack was worked out on 28/29 May 2011, with payment made from the buyer to me on 29 May 2011.

I said that I got cash and value out of the deal - the value of course, coming in the form of the blue Bluestreak. 

I actually got more value than that.

Due some silly circumstances, there was actually a ridiculous situation going on in the background - at these crucial few days in time, I actually needed the substantial amount of cash from the Marlboor deal to pay for another deal that I negotiated(!)


  • 19 April 2011 - I thought I was being scammed on PayPal because they suddenly gave me $15 free. I took the precaution of changing my password and delinking the one and only credit card I had on file with them (I don't see why I should have placed more than one credit card with them and put myself at further risk, by the by).
  • 20 May 2011 (Sat) - Travelled to Osaka ad hoc to search for Dino-cassettes.
  • 23 May 2011 (Mon) - This was my last day in Osaka. I used my credit card (same one I delinked from PayPal) for my final raid, buying such delicacies as Marlboor Wheeljack and God Primus.
  • 25 May 2011 (Wed) - Due to the amounts spent in a day, in a foreign country, my bank thought I was being scammed or that there was fraudulent activity going on. So, they called me up and said that they have (unilaterally) cancelled my card and will reissue a new one to me, within a week. Negotiations re Marlboor Wheeljack starts today.
  • 26 May 2011 (Thurs) - Night - after about 2+ days of negotiation, I finally worked out a deal for the 4 dino-cassettes with a UK seller (he was selling on eBay, individually and I had to convince him that it was a good idea to sell to me and to list them in the 1 auction for me to buy-it-now; it wasn't easy, trust me). I needed to pay. The amount is in the thousands of dollars range. I didn't have enough cash in PayPal and needed to draw on my credit card which would ordinarily be fine, but for the fact that in my infinite wisdom I have delinked about a month ago and to add insult to injury was now also cancelled by the bank.
  • 27 May 2011 (Friday) - Because of the how risk adverse I am, I only have one credit card, that's it (so sue me). It's now cancelled and I don't have any other credit card to link it to PayPal. Spent the whole morning in discussions with E and against my preference, she said I should use her credit card(s) to link to PayPal and pay. So, fine, linked her credit cards to PayPal. BUT, PayPal has this verification process where they charge the card and then you verify by keying in the code from the charge. Sounds easy? NO! E had to fly off on that day, late afternoon for an all weekend conference overseas - ie: there is no way for me to get the code from her over the next 2 days once she flies off. The clock was ticking. Somehow, I needed to pay and soon.
  • 28 May 2011 (Sat) - It was now the weekend. Can't even get the bank to help me with the credit card issues. I concluded the Marlboor negotiations deep into the morning today (ie: 4am on Sunday morning). Buyer wanted to pay to secure Marlboor, but I was just too tired to the point of falling asleep on my computer chair. I could not properly generate an invoice for him to pay.
  • 29 May 2011 (Sun) - I am now almost 4 days out from the time I should have paid for the 4 dino-cassettes. I had errands to run and was out of the apartment from morning till about 4pm - ie: no chance to do an invoice for Marlboor Wheeljack. Finally managed to do the invoice in the evening and then cross fingers that the buyer would pay soon because I promised the UK seller that I would pay for the dino-cassettes latest by Monday (and I have great fears that he might just sell them to someone else). Seriously stressful.
  • 30 May 2011 (Mon) - Marlboor buyer paid early in the morning. I then quickly paid for the dino-cassettes and breathed a sign of relieve.
It was a damn circus.

But, like I said, I did get more value out of the Marlboor deal and the buyer's timely payment than just the blue Bluestreak.

While I paid on 30 May, the dino-cassette seller did not manage to ship them out all the way till 4 June 2011. That's a week delay, but that's fine.

He shipped express from UK, so I was told to expect them around 7 June 2011 (Tues). The tracking records did disclose that they have arrived in HK on 7 June, but somehow, they got stuck in customs (for no apparent reason) and did not get delivered to me (at my office).

On 10 June 2011 (Fri), they were still not delivered. I was very concerned. I actually called up HK Post and submitted an email query to check what was happening. This was the first time ever in my 12 years of collecting that I have been this worried about a figure in transit - all of the other times, I won't even bother keying in the tracking number to verify progress. I just took a "it will get here when it gets here" approach.

This was different. I was worried.

Friday, 10 June 2011, still no delivery. 

13 June 2011, Monday morning - I got a call from HK Post to say that they tried to deliver the parcel on Saturday, but there was no one at the office to receive it (office not open on Saturdays), and they will 'try' to deliver it again on that day.

I was just in a tangle by this point.

Fortunately, in mid afternoon, reception called to ask me to sign for the parcel.

Whew. What a roller-coastal ride. It's a very strange set of events. On the one hand, it seemed that the stars favoured me, but on the other hand, there seems to be an equal and opposite force that was working to make things difficult.

So glad that I finally managed to obtain my 4 little holy grails (and really just in the nick of time before the damnable KOs are released, after which I would never dare to buy these for fear of them being KOs.)

Here are some photos.

More photos and write ups of the dino-cassettes to follow of course.

But wait, during Part 2, I said "6 exquisite acquisitions". The dino-cassettes only make up 4. Where are the other 2?

Well, there is going to be a Part 4 to the story....


The "full story" chapters:


  1. congrats on the dino acquisitions!! and yeah...that paypal credit card verification is damn crap!

  2. Glad you were able to obtain them before the KO's are released. I tried the same strategy with the exclusive Headmasters but failed unfortunately. The KO's just came out too quickly.

  3. You lucky bastard! Those look pristine. Congrats, man. ;)

    Hey, think you could scan the Decibel and Legout pics from the back of the boxes for the Archive? :D

  4. @ Arkvander: yeah, the KOs are a bitch. Worst part is that even the Japanese can't tell they are fake. Like I mentioned in my Osaka posts, there was this shop selling the KO Headmasters at genuine price levels and had no idea they were fake (or so they told me).

    @ Botch: Thanks man. Scan is definitely doable. And for Sky-Hyper as well. Do you also need improved Go-Shooter and Minelba scans?

  5. Holy crap HD! :O

    I had no idea how much stress this past month had put you under, again, my hat's off to you dude. ;)

    This was certainly one of the most complicated and hurdled deals I've ever seen/read, whilst I can see what you mean by equal & opposite forces - I personally think you have well and truly earnt these little buggers man. :)

    Now that you've got the 4 of these figures HD, I put it to you that it would be a great opportunity for you to now acquire the KO versions when they come out... Why?

    You're in the perfect place now, IMO, to perfectly articulate an extensive and detailed report on what exactly are the differences between the legit and the fake Dino Cassettes.

    I know there would be quite a few people who would desperately need and appreciate such a writing and I believe that with your approach to photography being so deliciously Professional, the opportunity to produce a definitive report would be of such great benefit to the fandom.

    Mind you, I also know you are an incredibly busy person with quite a few things on your plate - So this is just a suggestion. ;)

    Congratulations once again though dude, can't wait for Part 4. :D

  6. @ Hursticon: Yeah, it certainly looks that way huh. Negotiating for the dino-cassettes actually put me under more strain and pressure than my day job. I was so afraid its going to be another disappointment.

    You could be right about getting the KOs and then reporting on the differences. However, I'm not sure that I will have time to do that properly. I might wait and see if people like HighendTFs actually goes and do it or not. Or perhaps I can feedback to them what they need to know or gaps in the information.

    Actually, I have a lot of reservations that they can actually KO the dino-cassettes properly. There are just so many moving parts and riverts and all. It's a whole different ball game from the Headmasters which are essentially just 3-4 pieces of plastic riverted together at more or less the same places.

    Perhaps, the KO-ness would just be apparent on its face?

  7. HD: Congratulations again on getting such a minty set of 4 dino cassettes, just in the nick of time before the KOs are being released! For the seller who decided to give up such a minty set of cassetes, I wonder if it's just coincidence that they just decided to sell at this time or whether they were worried about the value decreasing after the KOs are released as I've noticed more dino cassettes available in the past months compared to usual once the KOs were announced. Either way, it works out great for you as you have no doubts as to whether your set is genuine or not. Congrats again!

  8. Thanks vf1!

    I don't know what reason the seller had for parting with them, but I'm sure very glad I got them before the reissues hit the stand... and yes, I have no doubt that the set is genuine!


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