July 31, 2010

Transformers: Animated Part II & III: Dinobots, Junkion and Elite Guard

Filed under: Toys, Transformers, collecting — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 5:00 pm

Just to let you know that, in putting together today’s installment of the Animated toy serial, I’ve undertaken some touch-ups of on Part I. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t tip my hat to shadowbot, for his two-year old renderings of Animated logos that I’ve appropriated for use in this project. They are still first rate.

And without further ado, here is Parts II and III:

July 29, 2010

Transformers: Animated Part I - Earth Force

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — fairplaythings @ 5:50 am

The Return of the King

Filed under: Uncategorized — fairplaythings @ 1:20 am

Longtime readers will know that I’ve been without Adobe Photoshop since I upgraded computers in November 2009. Thanks to sewingstars, I have been able to rectify this situation. And since I am the happy owner of a Bamboo pen, now I can hopefully begin to make some improved graphics to enhance the website.

Adobe is a program that, for me, means jumping right back in. And what better way than to put together a long-promised pictorial list of Transformers: Animated toys for my friends, Julie and Kellie. Yes, I appreciate that Jim and Bill did a great job of detailing these toys recently in the Allspark Almanac Part 2, but the vision of a list I had in my head had a different configuration, so I was obliged to continue.

While I could have easily created the following rendering in a nice blog post, I decided to recreate the pages individually in Photoshop and import them as a graphic, to better facilitate their use. But like so many things, once you start a project like this, it takes on a life of its own. What was simply going to be a series of cut pictures (the vast majority of which were borrowed from the incredibly awesome resource that is tfu.info) quickly grew into a more descriptive exercise, which necessitated a series of page breaks.

As a result, over the coming days, I will endeavour to finish up the various pieces of the puzzle for launch. Please feel free to let me know if you spot any issues that need to be addressed. The beauty of photoshop is that, because the original is layered, everything can be fixed.

The Lighting of the Comic Con

Filed under: ComicCon, Toys, collecting, munny — fairplaythings @ 1:03 am

A few more bits on ComicCon, mostly on Green Lantern which judging by the GL movie posters is in full swing now as we approach Summer 2011.

And while the Green Lantern seems to be hottest, new products are coming out including a full line of mini lanntern props.

Meanwhile, the Anime-style DC women has an awesome Jade (with a nice Steel to boot).

And Alan Scott, announced some time ago, is definitely coming home upon release.

Finally, and unrelated, Star Wars has added Mini Muggs to their collection. Hmmm. I wonder if the Muggs for Transformers are truly dead. Because these would be excellent (except for the fact that Muggs Bumblebee would tower over Cliffjumper…)

July 23, 2010

Friday ComicCon is Love!

Filed under: ComicCon, GIJoe, Shogun Warriors, Toys, Transformers, collecting, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 12:31 pm

I’m back from TFCon. The fabled Munny draw will take place this weekend so if you’re watching this space, watch this space this weekend for the winner.

In the meantime, Friday and ComicCon is barely underway and yet the pictures and information are coming fast and furious. Too much to tweet really, so I’m putting it all together in a post.


Transformers: Prime looks nice style-wise. Now let’s see if it has the heart of Animated, or the soul of Beast Wars…

However, these movie two-packs are just hitting the shelves. I have to say I like them. I thought 2010 was going to be a safe year for me in the toy isle…


With the new Renegades cartoon coming, there certainly is good Joe potential. But looking at the clip from the cartoon, a very Resolute story, I am wondering if the toys will be in the same style (so like TF: Animated was in comparison to the movie line). It would be cool but will cause some astetic issues. Anyway, some toy highlights:

Mini-Hiss Tank. What is nice about this is that it’s another opportunity for the HISS driver, a perrenial favourite.

Alley Viper. You can’t be released soon enough!

Lowlight in the RAH style. Nice.


It seems to be a good year to be a Lantern. Could there be a movie coming?

A five pack of Lanterns, plus a new (two-ups are yum!) DCUC Kyle in the foreground.

It’s DCUC Alan Scott!

No! He’s only available at Wally-Town!

It’s DCU Power Ring. I’m in! (And the Reddy looks awesome!)

Manhunter? Looks more like the Ultra Humanite. Whatever. Want!

Hey I just bought this set at TFCon. Go me!

I love the McGuinness-style toys. So Hal and company make me happy!

More Metal Men in the DCUC style. Fantastic!

Epic Win, Epic Fail!:

I think for me the big news is to see a resurgence in Shogun Warriors. Check this out!  I am totally getting this!

But, is this a Battle Beast? Can’t tell. Hope not.

July 8, 2010

Toy Magazines beget errors.

Filed under: collecting, comment — fairplaythings @ 12:19 am

I’m a sucker for toy magazines, even if they simply serve as flip books for toys I’ve mostly seen on the web and paper to cart around whenever I move. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of toy magazines on the market to start with, and those that do exist lack a certain spark.

The best toy magazine was the briefly-lived Super 7, which focused on Japanese toy culture from a North American perspective. Filled with all kinds of wonderful and wacky, it was a good source to learn new secrets on Transformers, Shogun Warriors and Micronauts, to say nothing of what was going on now and what was going on then in toys. It was a resource and a treasure, sorely missed.

Other magazines have come and gone too, White’s Guide to Collecting Figures and Go Figure! among them. Which brings us pretty much to the existing trio of Tomart’s, Lee’s Action Figure and Toy Review, and Toyfare.

Toyfare emerged from the toy section of Wizard and was really strong in the first few years. Unfortunately, it quickly became derivative. There are only so many fart jokes that a person is willing to endure for $5.95 a month, so Toyfare quickly fell aside a number of years ago. Only recently was it joined by Lee’s. Lee’s was a decent magazine but suffered from a lack of content. With a third of the magazine devoted to the toy stock market, and a focus on special features on past toy lines (which mostly consisted of a mint on card picture and small caption of each figure, which over time was repeated in different formats for subsequent editions) there was too little left to warrant $8.95 per issue.

Oh. Did I mention toy magazines never adjusted their prices even though the Canadian and U.S. dollar have nicely converged in recent years? Oh yes.

That leaves me reading Tomart’s right now. It’s a fine magazine that tries to put some thoughtful pieces together from time to time. Oh there’s a lot of toy porn in its pages, but it doesn’t rely on a price guide to round out its pages. And its historical features are much more interesting.

That said, even the good can be bad sometimes. Take this recent issue - #188 - and the reason for this post. An eight page piece on JoeCon entitled “The Ultimate GIJoe Convention”, it’s a picture happy piece that nicely fellates Hasbro, the event and its organization. The trouble is that the authors get a little too hot and bothered with Hasbro and fail to give proper credit:

“Authenticity is a word you often hear in a conversation with a Hasbro design team member because they go to extreme measures that every detail of theirs are the best that can be done in the miniature scales in which they must work. That attention to detail is obvious in the exclusive convention sets and figurs offered this year…”

The problem of course is that Hasbro doesn’t design the Convention exclusives, Lanny and FunPub do. And while the exclusive Joes are a nice feather in Hasbro hats, in terms of giving something to the fans, they can’t take credit for more than giving the designs the go-ahead and letting the Convention organizers use their facilities.

It’s a little point. But little points are often the ones that drive me crazy. Credit where credit is due, Tomart’s!

July 4, 2010

Gone too Long / Back for Good

Filed under: personal — fairplaythings @ 2:01 pm

Tap tap.

Are you still there?


Okay then. Let’s begin.

This is one of those periodic mea culpas that happen sometimes in the “lives” of some blogs. It’s also a chance for me to explain the last six months of progress.

The blog part of fairplaythings was really on a roll last year with the introduction of the Transformer of the Day initiative. It was ambitious to be sure, and took up a lot more time and effort than anticipated. But with a small bump in June 2009, it was coming out regularly. Then it happened and I got a new computer, one that was not compatible with my older versions of Photoshop. Without the pictures that had become such an important part of the exercise, the initiative ground to a halt in mid-December, a shell of its former glory.

In January, I then started a new initiative, the Collectible of the Week. It was a fun exercise, one that allowed me to explore my collection from a new vantage point which is always enjoyable. But the absence of Photoshop and other commitments dragged it down too soon and the exercise prematurely ended after a month.

And then? Pretty much nothing. Oh a few posts here and there, but nothing compared to previous volume.  A lot of this has been a time factor because the sheer effort that went into recreating almost every single Generation One character from 1984 (with the notable exception of “Frenzy” and Buzzsaw) for the Botcon 2010 Diarama competition. Some of it has been occupied with work and other activities underway, some of which is quite interesting and which I hope to be able to regale to you over the summer.

But suffice to say, the site in general and the blog in general has suffered. That said, Botcon 2010 has reinvigorated me to some extent and I am hoping to use this new energy to refresh things around here. And what better way than to write a meaty piece for the blog. Again, having returned from Botcon 2010, the logical subject would be any number of elements of the big Con (meet and greets, toys, the state of dealers, general observations, new insights) and I hope to get to this. But instead, I’ll start with a piece on some of the multimedia properties that have been so recently launched, namely Transformers: War for Cybertron (and its companion novel, Exodus).

I have opinions you see. It’s time to share again. Thanks for sticking around.

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