December 1, 2009

Dispensor (12-01-09)

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

Transformer of the Day for December 1, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)
-Function: Thirst Quencher
“No Quarter“
-Notable Toy: Robot Heroes (Hasbro, 2008)

Notes: Given my disdain for various all-spark charged little monsters in Transformers 2, you can be forgiven if you would think that I would loath Dispensor. But he was a highlight for me of the battle scene, an illustration of how a little humour can work well but too much can ruin a movie. And while the Transformers 2 has given us a transforming toaster and microscope (neither of which are anywhere close to scale), can it be only a matter of time before Dispensor gets a transformer of his very own? In the meantime, we have just one figure from the Robot Heroes line, which is as good an excuse as any to fawn over this super-cute line of Generation, Beast Wars, Beast Machines and, yes, Movie 1 and Movie 2 characters.

November 16, 2009

Jolt (11-16-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:16 am

Transformer of the Day for November 16, 2009


-Faction: Autobot
-Era: Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)

-Function: Strategist
“War is No Place for Seriousness
-Notable Toy: Deluxe Two-Pack (Hasbro, 199

Notes: I know what I said about the movie and the toy line. So why on earth am I spotlighting Revenge of the Fallen toys in my TF of the Day, particularly given that I’ve already done the Fallen (before I knew what a rotten tomato the movie was going to be), to say nothing of Sideswipe just last week? Maybe I just feel bad for the fellow, and for GM. I mean here he is, GM’s new Volt, off to save the planet and the corporate pocket book, and he gets like two seconds of screen time using a name that was already loosely affiliated with the movie as a Decepticon. Seriously, this is marketing? When the clearest picture of the guy you can get is the one above? Jeez!

November 15, 2009

Jolt (11-15-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:15 am

Transformer of the Day for November 15, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)
-Function: Aerial Assault
“Respect Your Foes Abilities As You Would Your Own“
-Notable Toy: Exclusive (Hasbro, 200

Notes: If we are going to start a mini-profile with Jolt, we should start here. Because, really, have I mentioned lately how much I love this particular Transformer toy? I know it appeared as Crosswise and Smokescreen in Cybertron, and then was used as both Jazz and Ricochet for Shattered Glass, it hardly matters. There is just something about it that I really like. And in these mean colours? Well, right along with Big Daddy and Fracture, I couldn’t wait to catch this one. He kind of reminds me of a evil Smokescreen.

November 12, 2009

Sideswipe (11-12-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:12 am

Transformer of the Day for November 12, 2009


-Faction: Autobot (or at least what passes as an Autobot in the movie sequel)
-Era: Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)

-Function: Warrior
“Speed is a Weapon that’s All Mine
-Notable Toy: Human Alliance (Hasbro, 2009)

Notes: No, he’s no Sideswipe we’ve seen before, even if he is coming soon to toy shelves in a familiar reddish hue.. Putting aside the appalling badness of Revenge of the Fallen (and it was appalling bad!), I could almost get to like this Sideswipe. Except he’s silver, he bears too close a resemblance to Jazz (which really shows the care and concern that a certain director shows for these characters that he brings in a replacement that is indiscernible from his fallen predecessor). Was black not an option? Anyway, the Human Alliance version does bring Sgt. Epp to toy shelves and there is some good in that.

October 14, 2009

Dirge (10-14-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:14 am

Transformer of the Day for October 14, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)
-Function: Infiltration
-Motto: “You Cannot Catch What You Cannot Find”
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 2009)

Notes: Friends of fairplaythings.com are aware of my repudiation of the 2009 movie. But while there were few on-screen characters that peaked my plastic fetish, a fact not aided by the fact that returning characters so closely resembled their 2007 counterparts, the same cannot be said for a number of the non-screen follow-up toys. Given my love of all things Dirge, it’s little surprise that this little wonderful rendition of a Harrier jet would be on my must-have list, right down to his little gold-tipped wings and coned-head.

September 18, 2009

Catalogue shopping

Filed under: 13 movie, collecting, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 2:07 am

This is the story of why I still sometimes find the love for eBay.

One of the collections I hoard and covet are company toy catalogues that are released by companies like Mattel, Hasbro and ToyBiz, to entice merchants to buy their stuff to stock their shelves. The pictures are usually phenomenal and you get a real sense of the marketing push behind each and every product line. Even better, you get to see a lot of prototypes and unreleased toys that just didn’t make it out to the shelves for one reason or another. Along with Star Wars Droids and the unreleased Super Powers Darkseid Tower of Darkness, there have been a number of Transformers that fall into this category, including the original planned releases of what became Scorponok and Polar Claw from the Beast Wars years and a number of Generation 2 planned repaints like Soundwave, Jazz, Sergeant Hound and General Optimus (which frankly could have worked if Hound had been the dozer and in the greens reserved for Prime), and Megatron ATB. Another is the aborted Wonder Woman and the Star Riders which Mattel pitched in 1992.

Anyway, I’ve been picking up catalogs for decades now, starting when I worked as a box boy at the local variety store back home, and rescued the toy catalogs each spring. Ten years ago this summer, I found a great collection of mid-1990s Hasbro catalogs through eBay, which started me down this particular hoarding path anew. And in the years since, I’ve picked them up here and there when the shipping and the pricing is good. So while I haven’t gone overboard and bought some of the truly expensive and rarer ones (1970s Megos and Star Wars-era Kenner), I have a really solid collection.

In fact, right now, Perulator is holding an order for seven Mattel catalogs from 1990 to 1996, a few of which I have but the offer of which I could not pass up because of the  bulk saving on postage and overall price.

If eBay is good for one thing, it is letting you know when items meeting a basic description come up for sale. But I have my reminders sent to my hotmail account and I don’t check it frequently, so I frequently find neat offers after the fact. So you can imagine my surprise very early Wednesday morning when I learned that someone had offers for Hasbro catalogs from 1996 to 2001 starting at a penny a piece. Wow! A lot of times you get exorbitant starting bids or “buy it now” on eBay and catalogs are no exception. But sometimes you get lucky and this was lucky. So I clicked the links and raced over.

Only to find the auctions closed. As Max Short might say, “I missed it by this much”. 30 minutes in my case.

For me, the biggest hassle with eBay is shipping. A lot of people can’t be bothered to ship to Canada. Others try and use shipping and handling practices to cover the expense of PayPal and eBay. So the five dollar 1996 Mattel catalog I bought as a one-off ends up costing $20 after the shipping. So finding almost a dozen catalogs, a number of which I need (because I am not above buying doubles to fill out the collection and use in future trades) in one spot is an amazing thing. And missing the chance to bid is very disappointing. But it gets worse because, among the half dozen catalogs that I need from this collection, are a number of pre-toyfair catalogues, slimmer volumes that are released in advance of the annual toy show in New York. Pre-toyfair catalogues are harder to find. While they frequently pitch a smaller assortment of the upcoming years toys, they are also a way of testing the waters to see if there is interest from merchants in a particular product line. If there is insufficient pick-up, the line will die a quick death before the main offering is underway at Toyfair. Jem, Battle Beasts, and Air Raiders have all had offerings made in the pre-Toyfair catalogue that were dropped as a result of this situation. So pretty cool stuff.

What to do, what to do.

Taking matters into my own hands, I email the seller and offer him $10 per catalogue (total $110). Yes, I might be able to get them for less individually but it will take time and any savings will be negated by shipping costs. And I’d totally pay $10 at a toy show for similar items, so why not try my luck at swaying him with a big price tag at the front end. It worked. The seller was disappointed by the inaction on the catalogues and pulled the auction, but agreed to put up a special “buy-it-now” for me to take advantage of the collection. Fearful of eBay’s wrath and/or to protect himself through eBay’s policies, he wanted to do it officially through the website as oppose to informally. So after much nervousness that some delay at my end would allow another collector to swoop in and take the collection for themselves, I was able to find the auction this morning and seal the deal. The result? I have an uninterrupted Hasbro collection that spans from 1987 to 2001, including eight pre-Toyfair catalogues. Add to my run on Mattel catalogs from 1988 to 1996, and Kenner run from 1986 to 1992 (minus 1988), the collection is pretty impressive.

And I have plans. Terrible, terrible plans. :)

Now to round out some of those other titles. ToyBiz? LJN? I’m looking at you.

July 3, 2009

The Fallen (07-03-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:03 am

Transformer of the Day for July 3, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)
-Function: Harvenger

-Motto: I Shall Be Avenged”
-Notable Toy: Voyager (Hasbro, 2009)

Notes: When they announced the name of the second live-action Transformers film, I figured “the Fallen” was simply a reference to Megatron. But then started the talk around the community about a character called The Fallen, with links back to the original thirteen character created by Simon Furman. Then the toy images began to appear. Throughout I believed the character was an elaborate red herring to keep the plot of the movie in doubt. It was only when he appeared in the comic adaptation that I so briefly skimmed that I realized he was to be. While the Fallen is certainly an interesting character, it is sooo disappointing that he turns the great Megatron into little more than a toady. Makes you wonder why he was such a bad villain in the first film…

June 27, 2009

Megatron (06-27-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:27 am

Transformer of the Day for June 27, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Movie (2007, 2009)
-Function: Leader

-Motto: I Am Megatron”
-Notable Toy:Best-Buy Voyager Exclusive (Hasbro, 2007)

Notes: How can I not do a Bayformer for the release of Revenge of the Fallen? So here is that which is not your father’s Megatron. First, despite the hue and cry to the contrary, it’s Hugo Weaving and not the great Frank Welker voicing the villainous leader. Then there is the back story, of a severed alliance between Megatron and Optimus that led to the Great War. And, you know, there is no P-38 Walther revolver in sight. Instead, we have your choice of alien spaceship or alien tank-thing. But for my dollar, I’m going with the first screen-accurate paint application available that was exclusive to Best Buy of all places.

May 7, 2009

Optimus Prime (05-07-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:07 am

Transformer of the Day for May 7, 2009


-Faction: Autobot
Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)
-Function: Leader
Freedom is the Right of All Sentient Beings”
-Notable Toy: Nightwatch Leader Class (Hasbro, 2008)

Notes: Optimus Prime makes another appearance, this time in his movie guise. While it was unfortunate that the original North American release lacked some of the movie paint applications and the inclusion of a battle blade, Hasbro later took advantage of the film’s popularity to reissue a prestige edition. Nonetheless, it is the unrelated Nightwatch version, with its cool blues and silvers, that makes the grade for this entry.

May 6, 2009

Barricade (05-06-09)

Filed under: 13 movie, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:01 pm

Transformer of the Day for May 6, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Movie (2007, 2009, 2011)
-Function: Deep Cover Agent

-Motto: For Now We Must Remain in Disguise”
-Notable Toy: Battle in a Box (Hasbro 2008)

Notes: Unlike the Autobots which featured memorable monikers from the first year of Generation One, the Movie Decepticons focused on a variety of lesser known or new Decepticons (Megatron and Starscream aside). Barricade fits this description. A sadistic Prowl, he even looks like an evil version of the legendary Autobot strategist, right down to the “punish and enslave” tag line on his side panel. Partnered with Frenzy, he makes for a more interesting Bayformer.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress