January 1, 2010

2010 and the Absence of New Ideas

Filed under: Collectible of the Week, TF365, collecting — fairplaythings @ 7:33 pm

I had really hoped to spend today gloating.

And really, I totally should be. I should be talking about the total success of a little idea that dawned on me back on January 2, 2009 to run a new Transformer entry each day for the 365 days that was 2009. And with a few hiccups, I did too, until December 1. Who knew that a new, faster, shinier computer would completely knock apart my efforts due to incompatible software (and the inability to get my ten year old toaster to read a memory stick.)

Nevertheless, I do want to claim a partial victory on making it through 334 days and pledge to round out the 2009 year soon, as well as a review of the effort including metrics (yes, I am just that bureaucratic…) Maybe I’ll even find the time to put something more permanent together based on my efforts over the past year.

There are no new ideas.

Changing the subject, I noticed something this week that is the title of this piece, mainly the absence of new ideas. I don’t mean to say there are no new ideas but rather that the ideas are not as “new” as we think them.

At the end of the day do any of us truly have original ideas or are we simply mislabelling just mashing preconceived thoughts and contexts from around us and calling them new.

Case in point, I was reading Dark Horse’s Dr. Horrible one-shot yesterday and, in the editorial section, my eyes fell on a new tag line for the company: “You Love Comics. We Love Comics Too.” And my mind wandered back to my original fairplaythings.com business cards, the ones I’d put together back in fall 2008 and had been using until Teresa put together the specs for my new cards (with the new logo), which can be seen in the attached picture.

The old tag line? “You like toys? We like toys too.”

But there are new configurations.

Despite December’s challenges, the TF of the Day was a very satisfying accomplishment, a way to show that I could have something ready on a (mostly) regular basis for readers. So I thought I’d learn from it to undertake a new exercise for 2010.

GIJoe of the Day…

Just kidding. While I’d love to do a project like that, given the nature of the Joeworld, it would take a lot more planning. So I’ll shelve it for the time being and announce the real thing for 2010. It ties into a pledge I am making this year to take the collection, scattered throughout the house in boxes and half displays, and do something meaningful with the best parts of it, while cataloging the rest, and putting some pieces up for sale. And to use this website, which I hope to reconfigure and refresh, as it was intended - as a place to show off my custom works and celebrate toys of the past (and present), as well as provide an avenue to sell and trade doubles and items procurred just for this reason.

What better way to encourage the organization of the collection than to showcase a part of it. In that vein, I am unveiling this weekend the Collectible of the Week. The Collectible of the Week is something or somethings in my collection of which I think is particularly rare, unique or just cool that I want to show off and to hear discussed. It won’t always be toys and it won’t always be Transformers, but it will (try to) appear every Friday and hopefully be something fresh. And it will be weekly, instead of daily, so that I don’t underwhelm the collectible (to say nothing of my other posts) by knocking it out of its spot with a new collectible each day. And, admittedly, to aid me staying on track this year.

The first one will be up this weekend. Do come back and check it out. For it is the year 2010. Happy new year!

December 13, 2009

Octopunch (12-13-09)

Filed under: 01 generation one, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:13 am

Transformer of the Day for December 13, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon (Pretender)
Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Salvage
“Anything that Can Sink is Worth Sinking“
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 1989)

Notes: Yes, Octopunch is another monstrous Pretender. But he hides his monster head within a primative divers helmet, making him this odd amalgam of both the fish and the fisherman. While I am not necessarily a fan of the colours, I am a fan of the mould. Oh Octopunch, you are nothing if not unique.

December 12, 2009

Meanstreak (12-10-09)

Filed under: 03 generation two, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:12 am

Transformer of the Day for December 10, 2009


-Faction: Autobot (Powermaster II)
Generation Two (1993-1995)
-Function: Street Fighter
“Leave Nothing But a Blurr”
-Notable Toy: Powermaster (Hasbro, 1995)

Notes: I’ve always wondered the origins of European exclusives like Meanstreak. Were they a throwback to the days when Hasbro relied on other companies like Palitoy to distribute their wares, or someone getting creative in head office with tailenders? Even stranger, just as Generation Two was moving forward into something approaching the articulation of what we would see in Beast Wars, these Powermasters have battle charger levels of mobility. Still, can you complain when you get a rare toy racing across the floor?

December 11, 2009

Swindle (12-11-09)

Filed under: 14 animated, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:11 am

Transformer of the Day for December 11, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Animated (2008-2009)

-Function: Weapons Specialist
“Hey, Man, Wanna Buy A Plasma Cannon Cheap?”
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 1989)

Notes: The original Swindle was the sole Combaticon besides Onslaught to get decent face time in the cartoon. Somehow Animated Swindle gets even more, and a better transformation to boot. Given his personality, he seems much more appropriate operating on his own, with his own ghost zone for supplies. He certainly makes for a terrific toy.

December 7, 2009

Soundwave (12-07-09)

Filed under: 10 arm-eng-cyb, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:07 am

Transformer of the Day for November 15, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
Armada-Energon-Cyberton (2002-2006)
-Function: Communications
“Leave No Trace but Your Reputation“
-Notable Toy: Voyager (Hasbro, 2006)

Notes: The hardest thing to do with a revision of Soundwave is to turn him into something other than a cassette player. Since his Generation One days, he’s been a Gobot (G2), a missile truck (Machine Wars) a mutant bat/crocodile fusion (Beast Wars), a satellite (movie) and an SUV (animated). Turning him into a space ship is just par for the course. Where Hasbro showed a little love and care is to give him his own mini-con, in the form of a depth charge-changing Laserbeak. This one touch made the rest worthwhile.

December 6, 2009

Wing Saber (12-06-09)

Filed under: 10 arm-eng-cyb, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:56 am

Transformer of the Day for December 6, 2009


-Faction: Autobot
Armada-Energon-Cyberton (2002-2006)
-Function: Transport
Courage and Fortitude are the Foundations of a True warrior”
-Notable Toy: Two-Pack Exclusive (Hasbro, 2006)

Notes: Wing Saber is somewhat notable for having been introduced in Energon and then continuing to have a role in Cybertron. In both cases, he is capable of merging with Optimus Prime to do battle, and you wonder if this transformation wasn’t the basis for the Movie’s partnering of Optimus Prime and Jetfire. While the Energon toy is somewhat unique in that it was not subsequently redecoed for sale, you really can’t go wrong with a two-pack of this calibre, which originally offered a hundred dollars of action for less than $40 at Costco.

December 5, 2009

Calcar (12-05-09)

Filed under: 02 generation one plus, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:05 am

Transformer of the Day for December 5, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon (Trakkon)
Generation One Plus
-Function: Battle Analyst
“It Doesn’t Matter Who Suffers, It Only Matters That Evil Wins the Day“
-Notable Toy: European Exclusive (Hasbro, 1993)

Notes: While Calcar reminds me a bit of the Autobot Vehicle Pretender Gunrunner in vehicle mode, they are quite clearly not the same guy. Given he was part of the second wave of non-U.S. exclusive, the wave that didn’t make it to Canada, he’s harder to find than some of his contemporaries. And he’s certainly worth the chase, even if he has a face only a mother could love.

December 4, 2009

Fire-Bot (12-04-09)

Filed under: 12 1-2-3 gobots, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:04 am

Transformer of the Day for December 4, 2009


-Faction: Go-Bots
-Era: Playskool Gobots (2002-2005)
-Function: Rescue
-Motto: “With Me Around, Danger’s All Wet”
Notable Toy: Gobots (Playskool, 2003)

Notes: Part of Firebot’s charm is that you can almost see him as a Gobot Red Alert. Even his toy face is red, which practically screams cartoon reference. For yet another repaint of the original Speedbot body, the paint applications really do him justice. Even better, Firebot features the kiddy autobot logo, as the toy came out before the formal shift to the Go-Go-Gobot line, where the logo was replaced with a stylized G.

December 3, 2009

Spy Streak (12-03-09)

Filed under: 07 beast machines, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:03 am

Transformer of the Day for December 3, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Beast Machines (1999-2000)

-Function: Aerial Reconnaissance
“I Am The Eye In the Sky“
-Notable Toy: Basic (Hasbro, 2001)

Notes: There was so much potential in Beast Machines, within the concept of the vehicon drones, that you wish the series had more time to create more. Alas, Spy Streak never had his moment on the big screen, likely because who wants another jet fighter after Jetstorm. That said he certainly made excellent cannon fodder for Hasbro’s parade of repaints.

December 2, 2009

Slag (12-02-09)

Filed under: 01 generation one, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:02 am

Transformer of the Day for December 2, 2009


-Faction: Autobot (Dinobot)
-Era: Generation One (1984-1993)

-Function: Flamethrower
“I Have No Need for Friends, Even Less for Enemies
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 1993)

Notes: The Dinobots are clearly fan favourites and it’s a wonder they’ve not been recreated for reissue purposes. It would be nice to get an office Slag in cartoon colours, for like Swoop, the toy never quite matched the show’s artwork. Which is saying something, given that his Generation Two mould came in three different colour palettes.

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