More Toys! My Recent Transformers Pre-Orders
There appears to be a drought of TFs released by Hasbro over the last few months, at least for me on the West Coast. I think the only figures offered by Hasbro at this moment are the Generations figures and the “Hunt for the Decepticons” sub-line of ROTF figures. I haven’t seen the Generations figures anywhere, despite the fact their sightings are reported all over the internet now and many online retailers have them in stock. I’ve only seen the Hunt for the Decepticons figures at one Toys R Us in my area and they’re supposed to be everywhere too. Oh, btw, I picked up the leader class Starscream recently released in this line. He’s a great figure. I may do a review on him in the near future.
To illustrate my point about the drought, I looked thru my records of TF purchases and since March I have only acquired 3 newly released figures: Animated Arcee, ROTF Mindwipe, and the aforementioned leader class ROTF Starscream. I’ve reviewed Arcee, and both Mindwipe and Starscream are recommended figures. For me, buying only 3 new TFs over a period of 5 months is like Kobe Bryant taking only 3 shots in a game.
However this is not to say I only bought 3 figures for this entire period. I did buy more TFs, but they are either old figures that I never got, old figures that I decided to get more of, or non-Hasbro Transformers (such as FansProject products). And I pre-ordered some TFs recently, which is the topic today.
I’m really not a fan of pre-orders. I only do them when it appears that pre-ordering is the only way I’ll be able to get something. If possible, I prefer to just go down to the store and buy my TFs (or any other collectibles for that matter), or wait until after the whole pre-ordering period and buy them from any number of sources. I realize that retailers like this system b/c they can use it as a way to gauge demand. And sure, pre-ordering gives the impression that if you pre-order, you will have “secured” the item and thus you will be guaranteed a copy when it’s released. But this system really doesn’t solve anything for the consumer. For extremely limited items, all it does is move up the point in time at which potential buyers compete to place the order. At the time of pre-order, there are usually no real reviews of the item from other people, so if the item turn out to suck, you’re stuck with it. Pre-orders usually can’t be canceled, and the item often can’t be returned or replaced. Some retailers even require part or whole payment up front. Sometimes the retailer don’t get enough stock from their distributors, so even if you pre-order you’re still not guaranteed one. And sometimes the retailer gets way too many that after the pre-order period, they can’t get rid of them fast enough so the item becomes way cheaper than what you paid for it. And more often than not, pre-orders don’t get released at their stated release dates, so budgeting can be an issue for the hardcore collector. The whole system just sucks.
Anyway, sorry about the rant. This wasn’t the purpose of the post. I guess when I started to think about pre-orders, how much I hate the system just flooded over me. Most of the pre-order horrors that I experienced had to do with anime PVCs (which for the most part I no longer collect). Fortunately, I usually don’t pre-order TFs. But it does happen from time to time and stuff I pre-ordered recently appears below.
Crossfire 02 Munitioner and Explorer by FansProject
I touched on these already. Look at this post for the full details. However I just pre-ordered on these last weekend from TF Source. I got the combo deal so I saved myself $7.99, though that’s really not a whole lot considering how much they are to begin with. Supposedly their release is pushed back to late August, but some fans appears to already have them in hand! I don’t know what the deal is, but FansProject is obviously done. I can’t wait to get mine.
G1 Seacons by Hasbro, exclusively from BBTS
At Botcon this year, news came around of a re-issue of the complete Seacons set in their G1 colors. Supposedly the Seacons have never been re-issued since G1. I’m not sure if this was meant to be a Botcon exclusive at the time. This is an official Hasbro product, but it is released exclusively thru BBTS, and it might have first been available at Botcon. So yeah, not sure what is the exact nature of this threesome, but BBTS is making this available to everyone on their website. There is a July release that retails for $74.99, and a later August release that is slightly cheaper at $59.99. I’m on a mission to buy all the G1 combiners so buying this was a no brainer. But I’m not in a hurry to get this so I went for the August release. Check BBTS for complete details. I have two Seacons from G1, Seawing and Overbite. Seawing is complete and in great shape. I think I got him at a Osco Drug. Overbite is in good shape too, but I don’t have any of his accessories. Actually, I don’t even remember buying him. But regardless, I’m glad at the chance to own the whole set.
Faith Leader by iGear
The Masterpiece G1 Optimus Prime figure has been around for quite some time now. It is hands down the greatest Optimus Prime figure ever made. Size-wise, this figure was made to scale with other MP figures (up to a certain point) and figures from the Binaltech/Alternator line. While that’s great, Hasbro has been scaling down the figures in recent years. For example, MP Grimlock is only about the size of the MP Seekers, and Alternity figures are way smaller than Binaltechs/Alternators. This creates a problem for MP Prime as he is now way too big in relation to these newer figures. And so enter iGear. Like FansProject, they are in no way related to Hasbro. Their PP01“Faith Leader” is supposed to be every bit identical to MP Prime, with the exception that it’s smaller so it will scale better with classic figures and MP Grimlock. Faith Leader in truck mode is almost the exact same size as Classics Optimus Prime in truck mode, but in robot mode Faith Leader is much bigger. I’m told the first batch of PP01 sold out real fast. So when the 2nd PP01 went up for sale, I pre-ordered with a quickness. Faith Leader is about $100 with around $18 ship to the United States. It is available only thru the iGear website and they require payment upfront. These policies definitely made it a turn-off and normally I would not even consider playing by these rules. But this is something I really want and I’ve heard good things about the figure so I pre-ordered one. I normally don’t keep track of the statuses of my pre-orders, but I already paid for this in full so I’m watching it with more diligence than usual. Still, my decision to pre-order Faith Leader is somewhat questionable. It’s expensive, there’s no diecast like the MP, you gotta pay in advance, and technically it’s a smaller knock-off of a Hasbro product. This is not a feel-good purchase for me, and I put the blame partially on iGear and partially on myself. Maybe after I get Faith Leader I will have something more positive to say. Peaugh’s video review of the figure appears below.
These are all the outstanding TF pre-orders I have at this time. I’m hoping they will all get to me by the end of August, but with pre-orders you never know. I intend to do reviews of all these figures.
Stay cool my fellow TransFans, and until next time… Transform and Roll Out!