I can’t believe it’s already the end of June. This month seems to have gone by in a flash. I don’t even know where all the time went. And come to think of it, half the year is over. That’s kinda scary. I can’t quite place how I feel about 2012 so far. When I try to think about some events that occurred this year, I can think of quite a bit. But it feels like nothing really happened. I don’t know. It’s late and I’m rambling. Time to get down to business: my TFs in June. Below I proudly present my acquisitions for the month.
- DOTM Dualor, Tuesday Morning, $2.99
- TF Prime FE Bulkhead, eBay, $69.99 shipped
- Cybertron Unicron, Amazon, $30.72 shipped
- TF Prime RID Dead End, Walmart, $12.88
- TF Prime Cyberverse Ironhide, Walmart, $9.47
First up is Dualor. I found him very early in the month, I think on June 2nd. Anyway, right before that, I stumbled upon a YouTube vid where one guy was totally going nuts over these little Dinos in the DOTM legend line. Can’t remember who that was. I think there’s like 5 of these little Dinos, all repaints in the DOTM line that are obvious homages to the original G1 Dinobots. Anyway, the YouTube guy really liked them, even tho they look like they suck. I was just in awe that I’ve never seen them before anywhere. And wouldn’t you know it, a few days later I see this Dualor at Tuesday Morning. This Tuesday Morning is like 5 min walking distance to my apt. I go there every now and then because I have found good stuff there, like legend Megatron. And once again I find another rare-ish legend figure in Dualor. I got him simply out of curiosity from the YouTube review, and the fact that he’s cheap, kinda rare, and reminds me of Grimlock. My hunch was right. He suck.
Next is FE Bulkhead, which I got from eBay. I already mentioned how cool he is in my last post, so I won’t do it again. Just get him if you can. He’s awesome. Trust me.
Sometime last month, this Unicron caught my attention. I think he looks kinda cool, so I started doing research on the figure. He’s a Japanese only figure in the United line, and most online dealers have him for about $50 to $55. Some dealers advertise him to be deluxe, while others say it’s voyager. I did more research, and turns out, this is a repaint from the Cybertron line. On Amazon, I found a dealer selling the original Cybertron version of this figure for about $30 shipped. So I got this version instead. I have opened Cybertron Unicron, and he’s very definitely deluxe size. I would have felt very ripped off if I paid $50+ for this. But that aside, this is a very cool figure. I’m glad I got him. I remember back in 2006, I bought some other deluxe Cybertron figures. It’s very possible I could have got this Unicron back then for $10. But I only wanted TFs that were G1 insipred at that time, so I paid little attention to Cybertron figures. That is one TF perspective I’ve come to regret. I plan on doing a full review of this figure. Stay tuned.
Last but not least, we have TF Prime Dead End and Ironhide. I found them on the same trip to Walmart. Dead End is a repaint of Wheeljack with a different head. I think out of all the deluxe TF Prime figures, Wheeljack is my favorite. So even tho I have not opened Dead End yet, I already know I will like him. As for Ironhide, I just had to get this figure after I saw him, despite the fact I rarely buy Cyberverse figs. That G1 head and G1 redness has me convinced immediately. I opened Ironhide, and I quite like this figure. I like both the robot and alt modes. Transformation is simple, but doesn’t feel dated. Only turn off is the price. $9.50 is total ripoff for commander class, considering that Movie deluxe figs only cost about $10. Still, I plan to review Ironhide, because he’s so cool.
So that’s 5 TFs for June. 3 from TF Prime, 1 from DOTM, and 1 from Cybertron. I was really hoping I can find some Vehicons in June, but no luck. I better find some in July, or I might have to unleash some pent up TF fury on some of the many unsold Bumblebees you see hanging off the racks. Message to Hasbro: NO MORE BUMBLEBEES!
Let the shopping continue. Transform and Roll Out!
Several weeks ago I went into a post about all my Team Prime figures in the Robots in Disguise (RID) line. Today I’m featuring the same Autobot figures, but in the First Edition (FE) line.
Let me point out real quick right now that Ratchet is not FE. This is the RID version. I don’t think there is a FE Ratchet. I just put him here to be complete. It would not be Team Prime without Ratchet.
I’m going to give some quick thoughts below on each figure between the 2 lines.
Optimus Prime: I definitely prefer the FE version. I think the FE figures looks better in both robot and alt modes. Color wise, I think the FE also looks a little more show accurate. The weapons of the FE figure also looks cooler. The silly mech-tech weapon of the RID just don’t make sense to me. However, I can’t really say which transformation is more show accurate. On the FE figure, the chest plates do not form the cab windshield, which in my opinion is kind of a letdown. From a mechanical engineering perspective, they are both pretty good, but the FE wins out by just a little. There are some little paint touch-ups that I like better on the RID figure, such as the silver around the chest, and how the headlights are colored yellow. But the final verdict is that the FE is the superior figure. Unfortunately the FE is not available in mass retail in the United States, so online dealers are your only bet. I got mine for fifty some dollars, and I’ve seen online dealers ask for more than 100. If that price turns you off, then by all means pick up the RID. It’s not as good as the FE, but still a very good figure.
Bulkhead: Again, this is a figure where I strongly recommend the FE over the RID. In alt mode, I think both figures are pretty good, and I just be nitpicking if I recommended one over the other. However, in robot mode is where the FE really shines. It’s not that the RID is bad, it’s just that the FE is oh so impressive. He’s well articulated and all parts lock into place well where they should. Take a careful look around the chest and shoulder area of both figures, and right away it will be apparent that the FE is a lot more show accurate. Many fans also complain about the wings on the RID version, that they shouldn’t be there. Mechanical engineering on the FE is a great feat in TF design, a lot more so than the RID. And the mech-tech weapon on the RID is just a huge conglomeration of crap that I won’t even bother writing about. But just like FE Optimus, FE Bulkhead is not available in the US. Hasbro loves to stick it to us. I got mine FE from eBay for about $70. Definitely buy the RID figure, because it’s only $20 and it’s very good. But if you’re after true Bulkhead greatness, you will need to get the FE.
Arcee: For these shots, I used the FE pink version since that’s the only one I have opened. I also have the blue FE version, but that one is still sealed in the package. Comparing between the FE and the RID, I think they both have their pros and cons. The FE has a more impressive design, but the RID is better built. I also like the paint apps on the RID figure a little better. FE comes with two blades, while RID comes with one blade and a gun. Transformation is probably a little more accurate on the FE. I think these are both very good figures. I would just buy them both.
Bumblebee: Hasbro has been making way too many Bumblebees that I don’t even feel like comparing the two. A lot of fans bash the RID figure, which in my opinion isn’t that bad. I think the RID figure is very playable, a lot more so than the FE figure. I think of all the TF Prime figures that I bought, I find Bumblebee to be the least impressive (both FE and RID). It’s not that either one of them is bad, it’s just that these figures really don’t offer anything new when compared to the movie Bumblebee figures. Mechanically they feel very similar. Most fans would probably say that the FE figure is better. I guess I’m so sick of Bumblebee that I’m not even interested enough to agree or disagree with that assertion.
Ratchet: Same figure. RID Only. I’ve said before that I think this is the best Ratchet figure I own. That should be your hint to go out and get one now.
There you have it. My thoughts on each Team Prime figure in each toy line. Overall, they’re all really good. Hardcore TransFans would probably get both versions anyway. For the more casual fans, find the FEs if you can, especially Optimus and Bulkhead. But what’s in the stores is very good too, and is a good substitute if you don’t feel justified in spending more than $20 for a TF.
Team Prime… Transform and Roll Out!
I knew this day was coming. One purchase here, another one there, and before you knew it, I have amassed an army of 500 Transformers.
As of 8/13/2010, the TF count was 300. Almost 22 months later, I bought 200 more TFs. Doing the math and rounding down, that’s about 9 figures a month in this time span. That also translates to about 2 figures a week, or roughly 105 figures for a year.
9 TFs a month in about the last 2 years is definitely more than 4 a month in the 6+ years prior to that. What exactly accounted for this increase? I’m trying to draw some conclusions by looking at my TF List. It’s too bad I didn’t keep records of the dates of my purchases until this year, but I can still determine approximately what were the figures bought since August of 2010. There were about 43 DOTM figures, 23 TF Prime figures, 16 PCCs, 34 Reveal the Shields, and 31 Generations. All these I’m pretty certain came at or after Aug 2010. That brings the total to almost 150. Add in some misc purchases here and there, such as Star Wars and Marvel crossovers, the later figures from ROTF, some newer MPs, and 3rd party products, it’s easy to see how that brings the total to 200.
So what does this all mean? Well for one thing, it means that Hasbro released a freakin’ boatload of Transformers in this time span. The 3rd Transformers movie probably has something to do with that. And it also means I decided to buy many of the figures released. But looking back, I can’t think of that many TFs that I regret buying during this stretch. Sure there are some figures here and there that I wish I can return to the store, like some PCCs and some Star Wars stuff. But for the most part, I’m glad I bought most of these 200. In the last 22 months, it was rare for me to be sorely disappointed with a purchase. The logical conclusion to draw here is that the quality of the figures have really gone up.
Another big reason for all these TFs is I started hunting for them at discount stores (eg. Ross, Marshalls, TJMaxx, etc). Generally speaking, deluxes are usually $6 or $7 at these places, while Voyagers typically run for $10. Scouts or smaller are at $5 or less. At these prices, I don’t even blink and just grab the figure to checkout whenever I see something I want. And I found just about everything that was in mass retail at the discount stores, like the Movie figures, PCCs, Generations, the Crossovers, and Reveal the Shields (RtS). In fact, for RtS, very often I only found them at discount stores. At such low prices, I bought multiples of many figures, mostly from the CHUG-verse. Movie figures are generally very affordable regardless of where you buy them. However, with some TFs, there’s no getting around paying full MSRP. This is the case with TF Prime figures, the MPs, and of course the 3rd party products.
Still, 500 TFs is a lot. So this year I’m making an effort to not buy as many. As a rule, I stopped buying multiples (unless there’s a good reason, like for example the Vehicons, which sadly I still haven’t found any as of this writing). However, there are some good stuff on the horizon, such as the upcoming FOC figures, more TF Prime toys, and some Asia only exclusives. Keeping that count from growing will be difficult.
In the comments for the 300 post, Gemini said it won’t be long before I have 400, and danbugman said 300 won’t be nearly enough. Oh how right they were. 500 and growing… Long Live TFs! Transform and Roll Out!