23 July 2012

Comparison of MyClone Sideswipe and Red Alert

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the chase and pretty rare MyClone figure Red Alert. Today, I thought I'd have some comparison shots with him and his 'original' mold brother, Sideswipe, the MyClone version that is.

Here they are side by side. They are predominantly the same figure (actually most MyClones are since they share certain basic parts), that are repainted. Interestingly, they have their launchers on different sides, like they were shown on the G1 Marvel design sheets. I don't really consider that a variation through, because their arms can be popped out and just placed on different sides. But its nice to see Takara actually make the effort.

21 July 2012

Takara MyClone Wave 3 Red Alert (chase)

During my collecting journey, I’ve collected many different kinds of Transformers PVC or “rubber” figures. For example, Decoys, Takara Super Collection Figures (“SCF”), Takara Mega Super Collection Figures (“Mega SCF”) and Hasbro’s Heroes of Cybertron, just to name a few.

However, I’ve never really collected the Takara MyClone series, which are ‘super deformed’ mini-figures representing various key G1 Transformers characters. 3 Waves of 6 figures each were released. Like the SCF line also being released around that period, each Wave has 2 ‘chase’ figures that were short-packed and blind-packed into each assortment. Again, like the SCF chase figures, these MyClone chase figures are pretty hard to come by, some more than others.

A couple of years back, when I was still based in Australia, a fellow collector asked me to help him look out for MyClone Red Alert, a chase figure from Wave 3 of the series. Back then, I thought, ‘how hard could it be? I’d come across this item on my travels, surely!’.

How wrong I was.

In the last 2-3 years of toy hunting, the only 2 MyClone chases that I’ve never, ever, seen before are Dirge and Red Alert (both from Wave 3). I don’t know what the deal was, but I had never imagined that a chase could be that hard to find. These are apparently so rare that even resources such as TFW or Shmax only either has a stock photo of Red Alert or none at all.

Enter Osaka in June / July this year. Arrived there. Went to a shop. Bam. There was a MyClone Red Alert standing right there among a bunch of regular MyClone figures. Jaw dropped. Bought it.

Here it is.

18 July 2012

Takara Japanese exclusive Menasor and Defensor decoys MISP

Bought this during my recent trip to Osaka and Tokyo

I saw them on the first day, hesitated, but then bought them on the last day. Since these 2 decoys were of 2 of my favourite combiners, Defensor and Menasor, I decided to go for them in the end. Even got a 1000yen discount off the store owner.

Continues from my Decoy madness awhile back! - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

I'm not really sure of the history behind these 2 decoys, but then, I've never seen them before. They are also taller than the standard sized decoys.

Some photos.

15 July 2012

Transformers G1 Japanese mailaway exclusive Gnaw MIB

The "sharkticon" has always something of a weird character and even weirder toy to me. Back in 1986, when I first saw it in Transformers: The Movie for the first time, I never felt that it was menacing or even necessarily evil - it's just this pink and purple and grey rotund robot, and there was a lot of them. They tear robots apart in packs, but die easily when confronted, for example by Kup and Hot Rod.

Their robot mode is even more of a joke and less powerful than the "shark" mode. So afraid were they of Grimlock and the Dinobots that they listened to them instead of their masters at the very first suggestion by Grimlock - "I say execute them!".

The sharticon toy, called "Gnaw", was a toy that I've never wanted as a kid. 

Seriously, what's the point of a shark that did not look like a shark and that is pink and has arms and legs?!? It is however, an integral part of the 1986 Movie cast and therefore, I think has been traditionally quite expensive to get MIB. Over the years, I've steadfastly refused to fork out any large amounts of money for it and so only have a loose Gnaw before I got the one the subject of this post.

I got this from my trip to Japan and bought it from Mandarake Nakano. It's not very expensive and instead of just being a USA boxed Gnaw, this has the added gloss of actually being a Japanese mailaway exclusive - Gnaw was not available at regular retail in Japan and was a mailaway exclusive offer for the Japanese back in the day.

I show E this toy (as I show her all my purchases and toys) and she looked it over, and over and looked puzzled. Then she laughed and said "this guy looks stupid!". Hahaha... I actually quite agree. 

Still, its a strangely intriguing piece that I'd like in my collection, at this point.

Here it is.

Huh? That's just a USA MIB Gnaw. Actually, yes, I think so. Well, except for the golden sticker on the bottom right hand corner which says "限定版", which translates literally as "Limited Edition". In this case, it is a mailaway.

07 July 2012

Heroic's Hunt - Osaka / Tokyo toy hunt tally!

Here it is, Heroic's usual tally up after a toy hunt trip.

When I was there, I kept thinking, man, there's nothing here and I bought things here and there. This morning, when I was tallying up my acquisitions, I realised that I've actually bought a fair few things.

A small caveat - I've snuck a few pieces that arrived before my Japan trip which I didn't have time to update as acquisitions into the group shot, heh. Bite me.

From Osaka / Tokyo:
  1. Gnaw MIB, Japanese mailaway edition
  2. C-107: Crosshairs MIB, unused
  3. D-90: Slugslinger MIB
  4. Micromaster MT-04 MISB
  5. SD-21: Bruticus Maximus MISB
  6. Lucky Draw black Tracks MISB
  7. Decoy Defensor (green) MISP
  8. Decoy Menasor (orange) MISP
  9. MyClone Sideswipe
  10. MyClone Red Alert (chase figure)
  11. Brave Police Shadowmaru MIB, unused (Sixshot redeco)
  12. TV Artbook #14
  13. TV Artbook #43
  14. TV Artbook #55
  15. TV Magazine with foldout Transformers poster
  16. Transformers: Generations 2012
  17. Transformers G1 PC game pocket guide book
  18. Bleach original art of Ichimaru Gin (not pictured)
  19. Bleach original art of Kuchiki Byakuya (not pictured)
  20. Diaclone MIB unused piece (not pictured)
Not from Japan but included in photo:
  1. G1 Scourge MIB, unused (painted top version)
  2. C-84: Sprung MIB, unused
  3. C-202: Phoenix MIB, unused
  4. C-203: Diver MIB, unused
  5. D-329: Leozack MIB
  6. D-330: Gai Hawk MIB
  7. D-331: Hellbat MIB
  8. D-332: Jarugar MIB
  9. D-333: Killbison MIB
  10. D-334: Drillhorn MIB
  11. Toyworld Hegamon MIB

Overall acquisitions

03 July 2012

Heroic's Hunt - Day 04 - Den Den Town once more, rain rain go away, come again another day...

Ok, so today is day 4 (actually the fifth day) and my last day here in Japan.

Day didn't start very well. Didn't sleep well. At 10am, went down to check out and intended to have french toast at Anna Colours Coffee and start a relaxing morning. It was anything but. Found out Anna Colours does not open till 11.30am, so I had to settle for pancakes from the cafe across the road. The problem? It's raining cats and little dogs and I don't like little dogs (big dogs are awesome, not little ones).

The rain was so heavy, I was stuck at the pancakes cafe for an hour. When the rain became lighter, I went to Entertainment Jungle to nab the MISB Lucky Draw Black Tracks. Well, a buddy wanted it at first, but now he didn't. I showed the photos to E and she liked it, so I'm going to buy it anyway. heh.

MISB lucky draw black Tracks (a homage to the pre-Transformers Finnish exclusive black Corvette Stingray)

Lucky, I saw Road Rage after I bought lucky draw black Tracks.

At around 12, I decided to go across back to Anna Colours and have my french toast, but found out from them that they no longer do french toast. Sacrilegious. Ok, had lunch there anyway and started walking around in the now light rain.

02 July 2012

Heroic's Hunt - day 03 - Osaka Castle, Shinsaibashi, Den Den town

[Edit 7 July 2012 - photos added!]

Me and my big mouth

Been complaining for the last 2 days that it keeps raining in Osaka/ Tokyo. What happens today? Sun was blasting at full furnace. Almost got burnt to a crisp at Osaka Castle.

Like I said, me and my big mouth.

Oh, wait. Rewind.

I was monumentally tired after yesterday's, Tokyo expedition, so I slept in at the hotel today.


Woke up and took a leisurely stroll to have lunch at 天地人 ramen, which was actually very good before heading to Osaka Castle. This was something that I wanted to do last time but did not get around to.

To say the least, this place was spectacular. It was v-e-r-y impressive, more so than other castles around the world that I have seen, and I have seen a fair few. From the double moats, to the steep battlements, to the spatial planning and the castle itself, it was a work of art and extreme beauty. Of course, a sunny day is actually the right light to see it under, where the strong light accentuates the colour of the materials and strength of its well designed lines.

I was just blown away by this place and highly recommend any one who visits Osaka to go see it. Well worth the time I spent (about 3 hours including getting there and back and walking the grounds).

Photos of Osaka Castle

01 July 2012

Heroic's Hunt - day 02 - Tokyo, Shibuya, Nakano, Akihabara

[Edit 7 July 2012 - photos added!]

Today's the second day here, and I decided to travel 2.5 hours to Tokyo.

Yeah, weird, I know. Thing is that, I needed to review something for work, for a deal that is due on next Tuesday and the documents came through the email last night. So, rather than spend 2.5 hours in the hotel reviewing and giving feedback on them, I decided that I shall review them on the train, where I'm productively going to Tokyo and productively reviewing the documents! Two birds with one stone, 2.5 hours very well spent.

My train ticket

The only issue was actually emailing out my hand written comments. I've drafted the email on my blackberry and it's all ready to go, but the BB's camera is so SHIT, the words I've written are hardly visible or legible. I needed to use my iPhone to take photos, which are way sharper and try to find a wifi spot to email the file from the iPhone to the BB, then attach it to my draft email and sent it out. Sounds easy? NO. I spent 2 hours after getting off the train looking for a wifi spot in Tokyo. Yeah, un-be-Li-va-ble. There are no wifi places even if I wanted to pay for them. Seriously frustrating. Long story short, I found a wifi spot and got the thing done 3 hours after I planned to.

Why did I need wifi for the iPhone? Bloody roaming does not work in Japan, at all. Technology and me does not agree.

Ok, so the first stop was Shibuya Mandarake. Really not much here. It was pathetic actually. But from past experience, Shibuya is usually the worst stocked for TFs compared with the other Mandarakes.

Photos of Mandarake Shibuya:

Some MOTU stuff

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