29 May 2012

Not-for-sale 立体ユニワロンPOP (ie: inflatable "3D" Unicron POP) promotional display for Transformers: The Movie (1989)

I'm not one for picking up strange and odd paraphernalia, but then when I went to my usual shop on my day off, I was disappointed that there were "no new Transformers in this time", but "just this paper base like thing".


"Oh, but it has already been delivered to the Yau Ma Tei store."

"Ok, I'll go there and have a look", I said, half the time expecting to find another Japanese S.T.A.R.S. set, which I really like and would have bought another of.

So I got there and the other shop-guy pulled out this large squarish cardboard thing. And I was like, "hur, what's that?". He opened it up and I saw what it was - yes, I did recognise it from pictures I saw from Alex Bickmore's site years and years ago.

What was it? It's the Not-for-sale 立体ユニワロンPOP (ie: inflatable "3D" Unicron POP) promotional display for Transformers: The Movie (1989). Pretty nifty, yeah. And it was unopened and unused too.

Ok, deal, sold!

Far as I know, there are not more than 3 known sets of this in the world. 

The first is of course the set over at TF Archive; the second belongs to the brothers TF@TM over at Transformers At The Moon; and the third is this particular set. Far as I can tell, my set is the only known unassembled set (of course, other sets could be discovered going forward). In other words, this is as rare, if not rarer than most run-of-the-mill Lucky Draw Transformers.

Here is the outer carton packaging.

The unused contents.

23 May 2012

"The Racing Cars of Diaclone and Early G1" - article by Maz

Another week, another well written and well researched article by Maz over at TF Source.

This week, Maz writes about the early G1 Autobot cars, Jazz, Mirage, Wheeljack and Smokescreen and the actual race cars that inspired them.

A lot of history and a lot to learn there!

Head over to read Maz's article now!

[Photos mirrored from TF Source]

22 May 2012

And now, the Maximii - USA boxed Fortress Maximus, Japanese boxed C-114: Fortress Maximus, C-311: Grand Maximus, Japanese boxed C-27: Brave Maximus and Sonokong Korean boxed C-27: Brave Maximus

Almost exactly 4 years ago, I decided to obtain a MIB Fortress Maximus. Then, I struggled to decide which particular MIB version of Fortress Maximus to acquire. 

As it turned out, I eventually went for the acquired the Japanese boxed version C-114: Fortress Maximus. I would like to note that while I am in possession of C-114, I no longer have legal ownership of it, because it has been declared to belong to E! =)

Recently, as part of my Calm before the Storm series of acquisitions, I acquired a US box for Fortress Maximus from a TFW seller.

Here are some comparison shots.

Thankfully, both the US version and the Jap version, in a very rare instance, are the same size!

The Devastator giftset and Sixshot boxes are use to show just how large Fort Maxes are, don't mess with them!

21 May 2012

Transformers Victory C-319: Landcross (multiforce) giftset MIB, unused

To start off, I want to say that this post is completely inspired by a Landcross post by Arkvander called "Landcross: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations". With the number of times we both subconsciously post about the same subject matter over the past month, I thought I'd better properly attribute this to him, as is actually the case here. 

Oh, and his title is sexier than mine too. 

Go read his post

I'll wait here.



Ok, now onto mine.

I bought this from Hokkaido (Japan) in Feb 2011, more than a year ago. I visited Mandarake before going up to the mountains to ski and bought 2 things - my second Goodbye Convoy giftset and this C-319: Landcross giftset.

Why did I take so long to post about it?

The fantasy? I was waiting to be inspired and subsequently inspired by Arkvander! =)

The truth? I've just been too slack. There're loads of Japanese boxed acquisitions that I haven't even began to document on the site. And many of them are years and years stale.

Ok, onto Landcross.

This is the front of the box. Pretty C9, all sharp edges and unused. Light wear on the flap.

See, I told you the edge was sharp.

20 May 2012

BotCon 2012, TFCC, Runamuck MISP

I have ever been fond of the Battlechargers since the 80s. I clearly remember one particular interaction, where I pointed to the 'white car' on the catalogue and asked my sister how to pronounce his name. Her answer was "This robot is called 'Runamuck'."

Years later, I acquired the vintage versions Runamuck and his partner in crime, Runabout both MOC.

Goes without saying that when TFCC announced that they were repainting the Generations: Wheeljack mold into Runamuck and Runabout that I just cannot resist. In fact, the 'free club figure' Runamuck was the only reason I decided to join TFCC for the first time ever.

On 10 May 2012, 'Classics' Runamuck arrived! Woohoo!

Runamuck MISP with bio card

Close up of bio card

18 May 2012

"In Their Own Words" series of articles by Maz

I wanted to pen this since yesterday, after the release of Part 5 of Maz's trilogy called - In Their Own Words.

Wait, does the guy know how to count? Part 5, trilogy? What?

When I logged on today, I found out that Maz, who is also the webmaster of TF-1.com (one of the internet's crowning jewels for diaclone, Joustra and foreign variant information), has become a follower of my site. It is an honour for me and what better way to mark the occasion than introducing his trilogy of articles.

In the 'In Their Own Words' series of articles, Maz invited a number of well known, very experienced and well-read G1 collectors to talk about and showcase a variety of Transformers related items.

Part 1's theme is obscure and rare European and Japanese Transformers, with contributions from:

Part 2's theme is obscure Transformers, with contributions from:
  • Andrew Hall ("hydra");
  • Paul Hitchens ("The Spacebridge");
  • Eric Warren ("Arkvander"; Mostly Transformers Redux);
  • Morgan Evans ("Genetic");
  • "Ras"; and
  • Jeff Stein ("Might Gaine"; HighEndTFs.com).

Part 3's theme is "unique packaging, 'sadistic' promotions", with contributions from:

Part 4's theme is "odd peripheral and obscure" Diaclone and Micro Change toys, with contributions from:
  • Gordon Yip ("vf1");
  • Martin Lund ("Fighbird");
  • Marco Salerno ("Puffmarko");
  • "Ras";
  • Paul Hitchens ("The Spacebridge"); and
  • Francesco Ristori ("EVOLVE").

Part 5's theme is Lucky Draw Transformers toys, with contributions from:
  • me (heroic_decepticon);
  • "HighPrime";
  • "Ras"; and
  • Benjamin Davis.

16 May 2012

Devastator giftset MIB (USA box)

This was part of item #6 in my Calm before the Storm post on 23 April. See, the deluge is still ongoing!

This is a great example of an item that 'piggy-backed' onto another item (ie: the Fortress Maximus box) that I bought from a TFW2005 seller.

This was just the box and foam for the USA released Devastator giftset and because of the reasonable asking price, I thought, why not just get it too. The seller was great and he even customised a shipping box that could fit both the Fortress Maximus box and the Devastator giftset box. 

When I received it, this was my first thought - 'wow, this box and foam is really mint, it looks so much better than I expected and looks even mintier than in the seller's photos.'

I was really impressed.

Since I had a carded and loose set of vintage Constructicons, the loose set now has a home and has transformed into my 'Devastator giftset'.

Some photos, which are pretty much self explanatory.

Close up. Hey, my Constructicons are mint too, yeah?

15 May 2012

12-Year Anniversary on eBay... has it been that long?!?

Two days ago on Sunday, I received this in the (e)mail.

12 years?!? Has it been that long?

I did a quick check and yes, I have been on eBay for that long - heroic_decepticon has been supporting eBay for more than a decade. So where are my additional perks eBay? Where?

~ HD

13 May 2012

1987, Series 4, Fortress Maximus USA box - whoa!

This is part of item #6 of the Calm before the Storm post. 

For some time now, I've been wanting to look for a US boxed Fortress Maximus. At one point, I even debated with myself whether I should get just the US boxed FM or the Jap box C-114 FM. Since as early as 2007, I already had the Jap box C-114 FM MIB, and from then, I was on the look out, on and off, for a US boxed version.

Actually, I only wanted the box, you see. I thought it'd be awesome to the US box FM and the Jap box C-114 FM next to each other. That'd be all sorts of cool.

Some time in mid April this year, an opportunity arose - an OZ Former member I've traded with in the past was selling his collection and among the pieces being sold was a US boxed FM. The asking price plus shipping from Australia would result in the price being a hair's breadth away from $2,000. I tried to move the price down to a more palatable level but he would not budge because there is another member who has a "hold" on the toy and is trying to pay by installments.

My thoughts were that there is value to a seller to be able to receive funds in full, and immediately on concluding a deal, but I will not pay the asking price and wanted, in fact, just a mere 5.5% revision downwards of the price - seriously, just a drop in the ocean. Seller did not want to budge and preferred to receive payment by installments, which would take either 9 months or 4.5 months to fully pay up.

So I went away and looked elsewhere.

Just so happened that someone on TFW2005 was also selling a FM USA box, for US$250, which I thought was more than reasonable given the sheer size of the box (came with styro insert too). This is the seller's sale thread.

So I bought it, and here it is.


Very decent looking and depicts FM in all his 3 modes.


This is of course the most beautiful part of the box and perhaps its main selling point.

Full frontal shot of box front. Very impressive looking box art. Perhaps not as nice as the Jap box C-114 art, but very impressive nonetheless. It is this piece of art, rather than the C-114 piece, that brings back fond childhood memories for me. I remember a US boxed FM selling at Isetan Havelock Road for only SGD$110, and it was there for months and months and still no one bought it.

Showing his 'double' headmaster feature.

11 May 2012

Bluesteak MIB unused (rub-sign version, Series 1, assortment 2)

This is part of item #3 in my Calm before the Storm post on 23 April 2012.

'Oh my goodness, not another Bluestreak!', you must be thinking.

Haha, yes, it's another Bluestreak. The question is why?

It's pretty well know that I am very fond of Bluestreak as a character and as a toy. This is another chapter in my Bluestreak saga:

Other reason I bought this was because I was also buying a pre rub Prowl from the seller and wanted this to hitch a ride along... heh.

Here is it, front of box.

09 May 2012

Cyclonus, "blue ear" variant (1986, Series 3, assortment 1)

Got this from UK seller Specimen-17 awhile back, together with a job lot of Micromasters that I bought form him. Somehow, posting him onto the blog slipped through the cracks and I neglected to talk about him.

As one of the few Transformers figures that I have retained from my childhood days (D-70: Cyclonus, here), I am incredibly fond of Cyclonus as a toy. I've like him since I was young. The "Transformers Universe" profile of Cyclonus just really sparked me imagination of him being an effective, remorseless and merciless warrior that is fiercely loyal to Galvatron.

This is his Transformers Universe profile:
"Cyclonus is a huge and emotionless air-warrior metamorphosized from parts of dead Decepticons and remnants by Unicron. Like Galvatron, he derives vast resources of power and energy through Unicron and so can draw on strength in direct proportion to its need- always being able to become stronger than his opponents because of his access to the infinite reservoir of power that Unicron represents. A dedicated destructor, Cyclonus transforms into a gigantic multi-engine (and perhaps multi-wing) jet fighter. His firepower remains intact and is augmented by an incendiary bomb rack. Cyclonus is capable of an additional transformation, trimming his wings and tail back to assume a space-worthy rocket mode for interstellar pursuit and warfare. He has no personality, no interests other than conquests for the sake of Unicron, and no weakness."
Very cool, I know. That, and the fact that I think it was Skywarp, one of my favourite Decepticon seekers, that became Cyclonus, sets him heads and shoulders above other 1986 Decepticons.

Like the "painted top" Scourge, I knew of a "blue ear" variant of Cyclonus since the early 2000s, a little late in the day admittedly. However, the "blue ear" Cyclonus was, as I were to experience it, a lot rarer than a "painted top" Scourge and therefore, more expensive. It was not really affordable to me back during the Uni days, so I did not acquire him, till now.

08 May 2012

A rare opportunity - Takara SCF Wave 6 chase figures: Dirge and Galvatron (metallic) MIB

Yesterday (Sunday), E had to attend a wedding dinner, meaning my evening was free. After sending her to the wedding dinner venue, I went down to YMT with a friend that collects Lego. He was there for Lego, I was just doing my usual walk-around the toy shops.

Imagine my surprise when I saw these at a shop....

Admittedly, these are pretty non-descript and not many collectors would bat an eyelid. These are the Takara SCF Act 6 chase figures - Dirge and Galvatron in metallic colours.

Chase figures are randomly packed into SCF boxes which contained 6 regular coloured figures and 6 completely pewter coloured counterparts. SCF Act 6 consists of (1) Convoy with Megatron in gun mode, (2) Rodimus Convoy of green visor, (3) Ratchet, (4) Ramjet, (5) Thrust and (6) Soundblaster and then pewter versions of these 6 figures. 

All figures are blind packed in identical boxes and the only way one can be 100% sure that one gets a complete wave is to buy a MISB box of 12 figures.

In a ratio of about 1 in 10 boxes of 12 figures each, there would be 1 chase figure substituted in place of any of the above 12 figures, again blind packed so you would not know whether your box contains chase figures unless you open the box for each individual figure.

To cut a long story short, chase figures are hard to come by, even back in the day.

05 May 2012

Chapter IX: Transformers 2010, from Sydney to Hong Kong

This day and right this time is significant for me, another milestone. 

So I thought it appropriate to schedule the next chapter of my collecting milestone running story, The Origin Story, now and on today.

Here is chapter IX of my story...


The year 2010 coincides with Transformers 2010, the Japanese equivalent of USA Season 3.

For me, it was also a fantastic year for Transformers. I would have been quite wrong if I thought that 2009 (see Chapter VIII: 1988 once more) was the high-watermark of Transformers collecting in recent years because on hindsight, 2010 was more amazing, very much so.

In January, the year commenced with a blast - E and I visited Tokyo and all the Mandarakes there. The sheer amount of vintage G1 Transformers there was just mind-blowing. This trip was very significant because I discovered Transformers TV Artbooks and I had a very memorable time playing with and combining Raiden with E in the cozy hotel room after a full day of Transformers shopping.

January 2010 Tokyo acquisitions

A few months later in April 2010, E and I travelled to Singapore and Hong Kong, to visit friends and family, and also for more toy hunting! Significantly, I physically saw for the very first time, my holy grail (I only have 1 grail), diaclone blue Fairlady Z, aka 'blue Bluestreak'. Wow. Unfortunately, it was way overpriced and I declined to buy it. That was 'regret' #1. Regret #2 was not buying C-108: Artfire MIB unused, at a asking price of USD$835. By that time, I had already bought way too many TFs and things and decided to pass. On hindsight and with prices they way they are in the years to come, that Artfire was a steal.

A regret...

After returning to Australia from the HK/ SG trip, I joined another firm. Work was crazy busy, but then so was TF acquisition. In a short span of 2 months and almost in consecutive succession, I bought and acquired the likes of Bumperjumper, D-328: Dinoking giftset (stickers unapplied), US boxed Darkwing and Dreadwind (I've always wanted these in box), pre-rub Ravage and Rumble MOSC, D-311: Black Zarak MIB, C-303: Minelba (unused) and C-326: Galaxy Shuttle MIB. I could hardly catch my breath (and think my wallet was gasping too!).

C-326: Galaxy Shuttle was another milestone too. I have been on the look out for one for about a year because this is a piece that E really liked. Somehow, I always arrived on the scene too late and the potential sellers have already sold theirs. After months and months of painstakingly watching eBay and Yahoo Japan, I finally won a MIB C-326 on YHJ for E.

E's awesome Galaxy Shuttle.

June through September saw me plowing through the Headmasters/ Masterforce/ Victory toys and acquiring them one after another after another. It was pretty scary.

By September, E had already been posted to Hong Kong permanently and I was in Sydney by myself for a month. In October, I flew to Hong Kong to join her and to take up a position at another firm. This was perhaps the most significant change in 2010 - where we permanently relocated from Sydney to Hong Kong. I very much liked it of course, because Hong Kong is one of the best places in Asia (and perhaps the world) to source for vintage G1 Transformers. To be here permanently meant that I could have very regular access to the toy shops in Hong Kong!

I was kindly farewelled by the great guys from the OZ Formers boards. I miss you guys!

In the first month and a half of being in Hong Kong, I pushed my Japanese exclusives list further to completion by chalking up many Masterforce MIB figures and a lot of Henkei! You could say I 'hit the ground running'.

I ended the year 2010 with a bang by scooping up 2 very desirable giftsets on 31 December - the Goodbye Convoy giftset and the Goodbye Megatron giftset. What a fantastic way to end a fantastic and eventful year!

The giftsets and lots of Henkei.

04 May 2012

Job lot of Transformers - Defensor, Reflector, Sludge, power dashers and...

This is item #5 that I flagged in 'The calm before the storm' post. Again, I'm not posting them in any chronological order of receipt, and I just felt like posting about this one today. Heh.

This set was a partial sale/trade with a buddy collector from Canada. I am very happy to receive this figures are part 'payment' toward a figure that I was selling him. Whilst I have all these figures, with the exception of the 2 Power Dashers, I am still extremely happy with them.

The Reflector robots are in very good condition and a definite improvement over my own Hasbro set (I have have the pre-Transformers set that is more or less unused, but the molding is different). Defensor complete is great, because he is my favourite combiner toy, so this extra set will be displayed as individual robots. Sludge, yum, an upgrade to my current Sludge too and will be displayed in dino mode (ie: 1 set of dinobots in robot mode and another set in dino mode). The power dashers, I never had and these are in fantastic condition, very immaculate and minty. Then, there is one more figure which is under the Defensor accessories packet, but I'm not going to reveal what that is, yet.....

Close up photo of this very minty set of Reflector robots...

02 May 2012

Prowl MIB unused (pre-rub version, Series 1, assortment 1)

This is part of item #3 in my Calm before the Storm post on 23 April 2012.

Very much like my recent D-60: Condor (aka Laserbeak) acquisition, this one is very much to get back that slice of childhood.

While I'm fuzzy about which Transformer was my first (I think it's Wheeljack), I'm almost 100% certain that Prowl was my brother's first Transformer. In the weeks following when we received our first Transformers, Prowl made up 50% of my brother's and my 'entire' Transformers collection. It goes without saying that our childhood Prowl and Wheeljack were in very well played with condition.

So, here he is - pre rub Prowl (ie: from the very 1st assortment of 1984 and one of the very first Transformers that graced the toy shelves).

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