30 August 2011

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

*How do I contact you?
You can contact me by following this link.

*Why are my comments not showing up on the site?
While I always welcome quality comments, I reserve the right to moderate inappropriate comments. I endeavour to moderate and approve comments within 24 hours of it being posted. If you wish to know why your comment/s is not showing up or why it could be inappropriate, please contact me here.

* Where can I buy Transformers?; What are your toy shop recommendations? Where do I go to look for Transformers in Hong Kong/ Singapore/ Tokyo/ Osaka/ Hokkaido?
See my shop recommendations and location maps here (contain links of Toy Hunt Diaries and lots of photos). The maps and shop recommendations are predominantly G1 focused, but recent releases are also usually available at most shops stocking G1 Transformers. Drop me a line here if you have further questions.

* Will you help me source for and buy Transformers on my behalf?
Subject to the below, I may source Transformers on your behalf:

  1. I will not source recent or widely available releases just because it will save $10-20 when buying from one country compared with another.
  2. If I don’t already know you or I cannot readily verify your reputation online (ie: not part of a known TF forum with a feedback system or with members that we mutually know), I’d have some apprehension about sourcing TFs on your behalf.
  3. I will not help to source for any item, whether in box or not, that cannot be safely packed in a Hong Kong Post packing box for shipping. For example, this means that I will not source and buy pieces such as Fortress/ Grand/ Brave Maximus (loose or MIB), Scorponok/ Black Zarak MIB, Overlord MIB, Star Saber MIB, Victory Saber giftset MIB, etc.
  4. I may impose other requirements depending on nature and price of the Transformer to protect myself. I have been stuck with a $1000 Transformer that I don’t want and cannot resell for that price because a person who agreed to it at that price suddenly turned tail and says “I don’t want it anymore”.

*Are your Transformers for sale?
I sell online from time to time. If there are any for sale, they can be found on my eBay seller’s page here.

* Are you willing to trade your Transformer(s) for other Transformer(s) / items?
Regardless of the item(s) involved, I will not trade with a person I don’t already know or a person whose online reputation I cannot readily verify (ie: not part of a known TF forum with a feedback system or with members that we mutually know). I am generally not keen to trade unless the item being offered is extremely enticing to me (for example, the cash and partial trade of the ‘blue’ Bluestreak for my unused Malboor Wheeljack here).

* Can I request for:

(a) photos of a Transformer? --- sure thing, but only if Transformer in question is not widely and easily available on other online sources (ie: it has to be sufficiently rare, if not I am unable to entertain photo requests).

(b) box art scans? --- yes. However, be sure to check out Botch’s Box Art Archive too because I regularly provide him with scans of box art for his site. If anything, the latest and bestest should be there.

(c) scans of other Transformer material (eg: posters, art books, etc)? --- yes, but I will not provide scans in a manner that may facilitate reproductions that may (or will be used to) potentially pass off as the real thing. In other words, I will not scan an entire book or flyer; I will not scan posters; etc.

*Did you really start blogging since 1984 or 1991?
No. Posts are backdated to the most appropriate date.

29 August 2011

Pick of the Day - Future Decepticon Leaders

From the archives!

Future Decepticon Leaders Overlord and Scorponok meet.

27 August 2011

Pick of the Day - Decepticon Triple Changers

(From the archives!)

The Decepticon Triple Changers - Blitzwing, Astrotrain and Octane.

25 August 2011

Pick of the Day - the Insecticons

Insecticon Bombshell and Kickback (both with modified Decepticon insignias).

24 August 2011

The full story (Part 5) – Guard City (TF-04) and Battle Gaia (TF-10) giftsets

Previous chapter – The full story (Part 4) – Autobot Communicators

The following events happened in mid-June.

About a week or so after receiving the dino-cassettes from the UKseller, I got a call from OZ Former member Ultra Magnus when he was aYMT and at my usual G1 shop.

“Hey, they have a lot of new stock in today” he said.

“Whoa, really? Can you give me a run down?”, I was trying to catch my breath.

He gave me a run down and among them he said, “there’s this strange Bruticus and Defensor repaint in a box”.

“Oh gosh, I thought, can it be that they got in another set of Guard City and Battle Gaia?”

Soon, Ultra Magnus put me to the shop-owner and we conversed in Cantonese. There is confirmation that they have indeed gotten in another set of Guard City and Battle Gaia! Now, I was trying to hold in my excitement because their previous set was just too highly priced, even for giftsets as rare as these 2. I recalled their previous 2 sets a few months ago, which was C10, unused, as good as MISB casefresh – they were asking a lot per set. Way too expensive for my tastes (although to be honest, I put a hold on them for 3 days and was seriously considering plunging on them).

So I asked the owner for his price. He told me. Hey, it seems reasonable enough this time. Why would that be, you’d ask? Why wouldn’t he sell it for the same price as the previous sets which he successfully sold?

This shop is different. They comb Japan for stuff on a weekly basis and bring them back to HK. Regardless of what the item is, they only mark it up a fixed percentage after factoring in shipping (variable sometimes). In other words, if they find it cheap in Japan, the buyer in HK gets to buy it cheap. That’s the beauty of this shop.

I went home and did a little bit of research. It appears that Battle Gaia MIB, unused stickers, has sold on eBay by seller blackgearsjp for USD$1834.00 recently. Wow.


I went down to see the pieces the next day. To be honest, these 2 sets were about half a notch down from the previous 2 near-perfect specimens that I saw. Some very light flap crease for box boxes and a tiny bit of general wear. The foam insert, the toys and the paperwork were as exceptional as the previous 2 sets. I spent about 30 mins inspecting them before I said I was interested and asked whether he would do a better price.

In the end, he agreed to knock off HKD$3600 in total for the 2 sets! Whoa. Still expensive yes, but nearer the range I was contemplating for these 2.

One might ask, what’s so special about these pieces? They are merely glorified repaints of Defensor and Bruticus after all.

The answer is – I don’t know. I know they are desirable and sought after, but I can’t put a finger on why.

Here are some thoughts on why Guard City and Battle Gaia are extremely expensive and rare:
  • They are Japanese exclusives and not available in the US and Europe, but only available in Japan and some parts of Asia. Operation Combiner is the final Generation One line in Japan (and
  • theoretically the final G1 line in the world, since the Europe exclusives are considered “G1.5”).
  • Battle Gaia, being TF-10, is the only Decepticon in the Operation Combiner line and arguably, the very last G1 Transformer, the very last G1 Decepticon and the very last G1 combiner.
  • With the Transformers series in decline first in the US and then in Japan in 1992, it’s very probable that only a very small quantity of each Operation Combiner figure was produced. There has been a decline in price for the Micromaster combiners, TF-01, TF-02, TF-02 and TF-05
  • (ie: Sixbuilder, Sixwing, Sixturbo and Sixliner) after the deluge of reissues in the early 2000s. TF-06 to TF-09 giftsets have never really been expensive because the toys were released as part of G1.5 and G2. However, the quantity of Guard City and Battle Gaia sets has not increased since 1992.
  • The extremely beautiful box art. This is the key feature that sets G1 apart from any other line that comes after. If TF-04 and TF-10 were not in a giftset box with stunning box art, I’d probably not seek them out or pay so much for them (personally).
What’s odd is that after a repainted release in almost every line that came after G1, Battle Gaia which is based on the Bruticus mold, still commands the high prices and is shrouded in an aura of ultra rarity. It is consistently more expensive than Guard City, even though the Defensor mold has never been repainted officially or reissued after 1992 (there were G2 protoytpes, but that’s about it).

As the recent eBay auction shows, Battle Gaia is still a set that is exceptionally in demand and still commands a very premium dollar tag.

Some shots of these bad boys…

TF-04: Guard City giftset MIB, unused sticker sheet and paperworks

TF-10: Battle Gaia giftset MIB, unused sticker sheet and paperworks

The money shot

This closes off “The full story” string of awesome acquisitions, but can I interest you in an epilogue where I will talk about another set of 10 figures and another rare G1 acquisition…

~ HD


The "full story" chapters:

21 August 2011

Japanese box D-94: Pounce & Wingspan MIB unused

(from the archives!)

This was an opportunity buy from one of my trips to Hong Kong. It was sitting in an obscure corner of a shop but I managed to spot it. Very happy that it is complete and unused with sealed paperworks.

18 August 2011

Heroic is off to Australia...

I would like to say that I posted this from the airport, but I can't because I don't plan to log on at the airport.

What I've done is scheduled this early so that it appears now and by the time it appears, I would be almost on my flight back to the land down under, where there are so many good memories and where I met E.

Snow, Threadbo, Tetsuya, Spice I am, Bills, QVB Cafe, Ole, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, here we come!

~ HD

PS: I have scheduled other posts during this period, so check back often!

G1 pre-rub Bluestreak MISB

I am in awe and shock and other descriptions of delight I find difficult to articulate now - because I am at a loss for words.

Please pardon me if this post comes across as somewhat gibberish like...


I received a package from a buddy today expecting it to contain a few Raiden parts that I'm missing, but these parts came in a packing box. The declaration said "toy car". I thought it very strange and curious, but did not have much time to think about today due to my extremely busy workload.

I came home, had dinner, showered and then sat down to open the package. When I saw it inside the bubble wrap, I said out loud "No, it cannot be. No, it cannot be."
That changed to "Oh my god. It is. Oh my god."

I stared at it for 30 mins before I regained my senses (a little).

I was gifted a G1 pre-rub Bluestreak MISB.

I was given this piece that is so close to heart by a good friend and buddy. Of all the G1 pieces that I may one day decide to get MISB, a Bluestreak would be at the very pinnacle of my list. He is one of the select few G1 pieces that has kept a very steady place in my heart since 1984.

I'm still in disbelief. My good friend is too generous. I'm very delighted but I don't know what to do, I don't know why I deserve it either. I am just very happy.

E said that I should 'appreciate it as a gift from one good friend to another' and I will.

I started taking photos uncontrollably... and I'm posting a lot of them up here...

Please enjoy, one of my absolute favourite G1 characters and toys...

A very heartfelt thank you to, you, my good buddy, [anonymous].

(I would undoubtedly write more about this, but right now, I am just enjoying this slice of childhood once more...


Top of box showing transformation sequence

One of the key things that sets Bluestreak apart from many other Transformers, his awesome box art

Pre-rub Bluestreak

Autobot Gunner: Bluestreak



Tech Specs

Robot Points

BOX CORNERS - all very sharp and no wear

With DIACLONE FAIRLADY Z blue version


Seeing these 3 items together, it's beyond awesome... my mind is going into statis lock...

16 August 2011

Man, have I been searching for this for SOME time...

I bought a Weirdwolf MIB, unused and in very good condition from a fellow OZ Former buddy back in the last quarter of 2009, together with this monster lot of things

Everything about the Weirdwolf was good except that its missing its gun. Poor Weirdwolf was even featured here without a gun.

My friend just could not find the gun in the ground zero that was his pre-moving apartment.

I said, "That's fine. How hard would it be to find a Weirdwolf gun?"

Little did I know, how wrong I would be. Here I am almost 2 years later, only just acquired a Weirdwolf gun.

Why is it hard?

Well, I don't really know. Weirdwolf guns do not turn up on auction very often on eBay and if they do, they have stupid asking prices such as US$24.99 or US$30.00 with shipping of US$10.00, which is certainly not an amount I would pay for a mere gun of such a common US released and Japan released toy.

So the search went on and on... we me waiting for the right auction to come by and then 2 years passes by.

Finally got one from my UK seller friend at a good deal.

15 August 2011

C-114 versus C-328

I just helped a buddy grab a C-328: Victory Saber giftset yesterday and I was sitting here looking at it... and thinking what a damn big box Victory Saber comes in.

So, I took down my C-114: Fortress Maximus box from the top shelf and compared them.

Waddaya know? They are almost exactly the same height!!!

The Victory Saber has the honour of being the same height as the box of the largest Transformer ever made - Fortress Maximus.

14 August 2011

HK Market Watch - FansProject Insecticons and BAPE Convoy

I spent the week trying very hard to help a buddy look for the BAPE store exclusive BAPE Convoy. Apparently the Singapore BAPE store only had 8 pieces, so its become somewhat of a rarity and has attained mythical status in Singapore.

Judging from online reaction, it appears like this BAPE thing is all the rage at the moment (and I'm very sure I don't understand why).

My buddy messaged me in the middle of the week to see if it would prove easier to locate in HK. I tried all my sources and even visited the BAPE store in HK and this is a summary of the result:
  • my usual shop can get it for me from Japan, but it will cost HKD$2,680.
  • the BAPE shop that is near my usual conference location is closed.
  • the BAPE store in Causeway Bay that is just 2 mins from where I live has a stock of these come in on last Saturday (ie: 6 August), but was sold out within the hour of opening. How many pieces did they have, I asked - less than 100 was the reply (he mentioned 80-ish). Well, better than BAPE store Singapore in any event.
  • There were a few shops in In's Point that has a piece for sale.
On Thursday (11 Aug), a shop had this for sale for HKD$2,800.


Today (14 Aug), the above was gone!

Not to fret, noble collectors, another shop has a piece...

... with a HKD$3,000 price tag.

"This is madness", I say.


On a more interesting note... there is a shop with actual coloured pieces of the FansProject Bombshell and Kickback, which as I understand it, has not been released.
(I had a milkshake in my hand, so pardon the photo quality)




Oh, and other new arrivals at my usual shop... Of note, MISB C-55: Superion giftset!

The C-328: Victory Saber giftset is very near C10, unused, all pieces bone white and spanking new... no tears on any of the corners of the box edges... very sweet piece... BUT have been bought by me (on behalf of a buddy).

Remember Mr Awesome? He's here!

He has now arrived at our home in all his glory, including docking bay and all.

This is his docking bay...

Mr Awesome's sigil of excellence...

A message from the creator of Mr Awesome... it reads "Thank you very much for participating and winning this weird and hilarious experiment! I hope you will enjoy this AWESOME toy!"

Mr Awesome in plane mode...

Mr Awesome in robot mode...

Close up of head sculpt...

Mr Awesome in robot mode next to my Gakken Alpha Fighter in robot mode. See how tall Mr Awesome is?

Thanks to Canadian eBay seller kanrabat for all the fun!

E and HD

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