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Footage of Transformer toy assembly and production in Veitnam – how Transformers are made

Ok, so it’s been almost 2 months since I said I’d be updating more frequently, but I don’t want to just post fluff.

I’ve been doing some deep diving into some topics and I came across this hardly viewed (as of this post less than 1000 views) videos from a company in Vietnam that is assembling some The Last Knight and Robots in Disguise series Transformers! This footage is awesome for those that have been wondering how the process works.

No, transformers are not completely manufactured by machines. Actual people do the assembly.  The parts are far too delicate and difficult to assemble for complete automation.

I must say, the factory looks very well-kept, clean, and modern!  I’d love to take a walk on the production floor! Specifically you can see The Last Knight Leader Optimus Prime and deluxe Squeeks being assembled along a conveyor with dozens if not hundreds of assembly line workers.  See for yourself!

The channel is named GTF Group HK.  It’s been a few months since they’ve posted anything new, but let’s hope for more!

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Welcome 2018!

Greetings Collecticons.

I wanted to take this time to make a quick note on this New Years Day, a day that over 10 years ago got me started on setting up this website.  It was always meant to be more than just a blog where one could very sporadically spout off about Transformers at large. I want to make a personal pledge to write at least one or more posts per week for the month of January.

I have plenty of interesting stuff to share like the current relocation of my MISB collection, explaining the teachings of #binlife, and generally showing off some of the cooler pieces I acquired over the past year(s).

I also want to take this time to reflect on all of the awesome people I’ve met and gotten closer to this year within our fandom, local and beyond. Thank you for making me proud to be a Transfan. It is very easy to remain isolated in this hobby, and isolation is definitely not something to strive for.

May we all aspire to enjoy a Transformers Party like the one pictured below.

Here’s to a great 2018, and keep on collecting!

Paulcon2018

Paulcon 2017 (not to be confused with PFcon)

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Announcing #binlife

binlife or die MF's!

This is how you #binlife!

Have you spoken today with your benevolent lord and savior, The Great Bin?

Let me tell you about his greatness: He giveth the sanctity of life for our beloved collectibles, never taketh. The confines of his walls support eternal youth and will forever protect the contents within. The Great Bin’s light shines radiant for all those that partake in his blessings, ever shall we bask in his grace.

I have read the word of The Great Bin for years, without even knowing I was following its teachings. How else is a Collecticon supposed to traverse the path of life with his Transformers staying minty fresh over the years? I selected by bins carefully, meticulously, in order to compose that greatest amount of storage possible.  I now am in possession of many, many bins, and the treasures within are a sigh to behold. Yes, his bin-ness smiles upon me and grants me many blessings.

I am his follower and disciple, and this is #binlife.

Have a happy holiday oh followers of The Great Bin!

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Announcing PFCON 2017 – a premiere TF collector meet-up in Chicago

Hold onto your buckets!  This just in, PFCON 2017 is a go and will be held on Sunday July 23 in Humboldt Park at a private residence!  An exclusive figure will be available as a limited run of 17 for $30!  Includes a goodie bag with lots of… goodies.

So what will the exclusive be?  Only time will tell!  PFCON is doing it in full TF fashion with a shadow reveal!!  You can attend Noon to 6PM if you live in Chicago for free.  For location and more info, reach out to @pfconchicago on twitter.

Who could it be????

 

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Michael Bay, the destroyer of childhoods comes to life in T-shirt form!

Baynicron t-shirt

The hat was meant to say “boobs”

Hooooo boy, they really went for it! This shirt should be considered spoilers, but it appears that RIPT Apparel has created a shirt for all the disenfranchised Transfans out there. If only the tagline had been “Destroyer of Childhoods”, but maybe that’s a little too on the nose.

This hilarious and poignant design was created by the incredible artist Obvian and is available today only at RIPT!

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Who should direct the Transformers reboot?

You've had your time Michael Bay

Your face here!

 

I’m just going to jump right in and state that the Transformers cinematic franchise as it exists needs to die.  “The Last Knight” was the final nail in the coffin, for me, as a long-time fan. I’ve given the franchise everything that I have and I’ve bit my lip so much there is a scar. Mister Bay has left his mark on the Transformers and we are not soon to forget him. The box office numbers are starting to drop, which is making a lot of folks anxious; the folks that make the big decisions. The Bumblebee spin-off is already happening and Travis Knight seems like a suitable name to put at the helm, but if he cannot save the dumpster fire that Bay and his “writers” have started, it’s going to be time to return the drawing board.

So who should done the torch, and hopefully save the honor of the Cybertronian race? Well, whomever dons the crown will have to possess a few specific qualities as a director:

  1. Respect for established lore and an ability to expand upon existing story elements.
  2. Experience with digital characters and large amounts of CG that integrate into their live action.
  3. A strong eye for how to film action sequences.

So let’s take a look at a few directors that are currently out there that could give the world a fresh look at Transformers and hopefully not leave fans with a battery-acid taste in their mouthes.

Ro-bros

Neill Blomkamp
You probably know him from District 9 fame, but this director has been spear-heading the modern aesthetic of sci-fi since he hit the scene. He is launching his own film studio and putting out amazing bite-sized sci-fi shorts like Rakka and Firebase, which are conveniently located online for the masses to devour. His films have a gritty real-life quality all while relying heavily on CG plot-points and even, in the case of Chappie, main characters.

Sure, it seems like all of Blomkamp’s efforts have slipped a bit since the initial bombastic reception of District 9, but he has the tools and he has the talent. Fans of the Alien franchise, this Collecticon included, were salivating over the concept art that was displayed online for a Blomkamp reimagining of a post-aliens universe without the miss-steps brought on by Alien 3 and Ressurrection. Unfortunately for the universe at large, Sir Ridley Scott took his toys and went home at the thought of someone else once again out-classing his little sci-fi story.

Neill Blomkamp Alien Queen concept Aliens 5

Hey kids, sorry but I got Ridley’d!

The short and thick of it is that this guy is the real deal. He knows how to tell a story and he knows how to make things look real. He relies heavily on CG in his films and has a taste for lore as a fan, as in the case of how he wanted to jumpstart the Aliens story in a more compelling way. The real question here is if our lord and savior has any interest at all in the Transformers mythos or if he even wants to deal with big-budget Hollywood types at all. All I can say is Neill, if you’re out there, I think you’ve got the touch and you’ve got the power!

 

J.J. Abrams
You almost can’t have this debate with another geek without bringing up J.J.  While Star Wars and Trekkies received a healthy dosing of Abrams to save their sorry asses, Transformers & Ninja Turtlesfans were stuck in the corner being bullied by Michael Bay asking for all our plastic crack money. While not everyone on earth was ecstatic about Abrams’ takes on two of the holiest of holy stories, it’s hard to say that he did a bad job. Lens flares be damned, there was grit, there was glory and he made everyone a lot of money.  Of all the directors listed here, he has the strongest pedigree from an executive standpoint.

What would a J.J. Abrams Transformers universe look like? I would hope that it would be a return to form, mostly revolving around the key aspects of robots in disguise, but perhaps we get a better establishment of locations away from Earth, like a real Cybertron setting. Abrams is all about easter eggs and keeping fans at least somewhat happy, a rule of franchise-building that Michael Bay would rather rip out of the book.

Again, is rebuilding a fan-hallowed franchise the sort of annoying challenge that an established director like this wants to take up for a third time? Ultimately, I believe it depends on his affinity to the brand and after tackling both Star Trek and Star Wars, what else is there? He’s not my first pick, but I’d definitely raise an eye brow if he showed interest.

Giant robot: Check!

Guillermo del Toro
If this guy isn’t a Transformers fan, then I’ll eat my left arm clean off. He’s done so much visionary film-making that I won’t even bother mentioning it all except his most relevant for this conversation, Pacific Rim. Of all the directors on this list, Guillermo probably has the biggest predisposition to telling stories about giant robot and the battles that tend to follow them around. He loves color, he loves sound, he loves wowing the audience visually! I don’t think he puts as much stock into practical effects as Michael Bay might, but his ability to make memorable and unique visual moments in his movies is hard to beat.

This guy loves making movies, and loves the fans of his movies. Of all the directors on this list, he seems like the one that would say yes to saving Transformers the fastest. He and Michael Bay even had a short press beef debating the finer points of their robot movies! Guillermo, just take Paramount’s call and show Bay how a real man choreographs giant robot battles.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Never heard of this guy? Well why are you even reading this blog then? Jordan single-handedly blew the minds of monster movie fans across the world with his incredible entry into the King Kong mythos, Kong: Skull Island.

The film places big-budget action in lush exotic locations with A-list stars, and of course, the beast himself, King Kong. Vogt-Roberts blew it out of the park so hard with this movie, any studio in Hollywood exec would have to be taking drugs not to consider him for the job. He flawlessly told a story with giant CG creatures on his first at bat, and he clearly had a lot of respect for the franchise. In fact, he probably made the best entry into the Kong pedigree of all time. This is the guy. He is my number one pick to take the matrix, and light our darkest hour. Plus, the beard!!!!

Well, those are my picks and I think we would be lucky to snag any of them as our next ‘point man’ on a revisited Transformers film series. I’ll also note a few runner’s up but I just doubt they would actually touch this thing with a 100 foot pole.
Runners-up:

  • Joss Whedon – I believe he could do the franchise some serious good, but he seems pretty anti-hollywood these days.
  • Zach Snyder – Please no, but I’m sure he’d be in the running. Chances are he would create a less decipherable film than Michael Bay would.
  • Jonathan Nolan – Yeah it’d be cool, but I bet he’d be a one and done with Transformers.  We need someone that’s going to be in it to win it!
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Call the feds! Unaltered samples of MP-23 Exhaust exist!

This ain’t no fake toy!

With the advent of Facebook, I’m reconnecting with a lot of big-time collectors from my pre-TFW2005 banning days. Lots of goodies are being revealed in the process and one of the most notable recently is a production sample of a non-modified version of MP23 Exhaust, otherwise known as Marlboor Wheeljack.

If you need a refreshed on the odyssey of MP23 Exhaust, then go here for further reading.  I will now assume you know everything about how this toy came to be.

The original deco of MP-23 and the box the housed him.

So it’s really not a huge surprise that a few non-nerfed MP-23 Exhausts survived the culling. The hammer from Phillip Morris came down awfully late in the life-cycle of the figure. I would imagine that there are probably 100’s if not 1000’s somewhere, unless part of the litigation was that all completed pieces were destroyed with proof. According to the buyer of this piece, only 2 are known to be seen in existence.

the collector card for the original MP-23 on the left and the nerfed version that was mass-released on the right.

The buyer is now selling the piece with a hefty price tag of $8,000 USD.  And here I was thinking he was going to keep it in his collection.  A pity.  The listing can be seen below.

Who wants to complete their MP collection?

I’m happy to see that illegal contraband like MP-23 is finally appearing in the wild, but I’m a little sad to see that the first person to acquire this amazing piece just wants to flip it for a quick buck. There’s a few manic Masterpiece Collectors out there that have reached out to me asking if I think it’s real.  I definitely think it’s real. All the stories line-up but if you are asking me that question in hopes of not needing this figure to have a truly finished MP collection then you’re flawed.  This is not a mass release. Just like lucky draw Gold MP-01, this is outside of the realm of completist.  You have to climb a few rungs of insanity to think that your collection has a huge gaping hole that will only be filled by figures whose production runs are in the single digits.

Someone out there is likely to purchase this specimen, but I think $8000 is a price that the seller is just fishing with.  The true price ought to be somewhere between $1500-$3500, I think you’d find a buyer easily for that cash.  Then again, how much was the piece originally trading hands for? We may never know.  Happy hunting Collecticons!

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Unreleased ROTF / HFTD “Megatron Rising” giftset figure

“I’m so rare no one even knew I existed until today!”

Well well well.  Thanks to my old pal Blue Boost for nefariously sneaking a photo of our private little Megatron treasure into a TFw2005 news post yesterday. He’s stirred the pot and now would-be movie collectors are salivating over his unreleased ROTF Voyager Megatron from the ill-fated “Megatron Rising” giftset.  I decided to share this photo of my version, which has been actually out on my table recently amongst other Megatrons.

Bask in the glory of what could’ve been. Officially, the giftset was revealed at SDCC 2010 but none of the giftsets saw the light of day, except Ravage infiltration giftset which did appear in the UK in limited numbers.

Getting ahold of figures like this is no laughing matter. You usually get one chance and you must strike immediately. Boost and I got these off of Ebay from a seller than typically has sample toys. Apparently this giftset was very near final production before it was pulled.  Perhaps a warehouse does exist full of packaged pieces… we may never know!

More like Megatron falling… amirite?

Strange enough, while writing this quick article I found a place online that has listings for this Megatron (sold out) as well as the individual legends class constructicons. The red scrapper in particular is interesting.  But are $235 per legend, they may be the most expensive legends of all time!  Happy hunting Collecticons.

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MPM-4 is Masterpiece Movie Optimus Prime

Masterpiece Movie Optimus Prime

I am your God now

The upcoming Masterpiece Movie line is one of the most exciting things to come from ten years of Bayformers. We’ve already seen Bumblebee, who is an incredible adaptation of the character, with others rumored to follow such as Barricade, Blackout, and maybe even Bonecrusher? It should would complete the B’s.

MPM-4 was revealed this week to be none other than Optimus Prime himself in an incredible rendition the likes of which may never be topped. Many fans believed the ROTF Movie Optimus mold would never be topped, but it’s amazing what 9+ years can do.

The figure does have some strange proportions at first glance but seeing the front and back side comparisons makes this new mold hands down the de-facto Prime.

The lack of kibble on the back and the proportions of specific parts just blow me away.  The smoke stacks even retract!!  Incredible! This upcoming figure takes everything you know and love about Movie Optimus Prime and dials it up to 11.  I for one don’t miss the $180 I’m already going to spend for 2 of them.  Bravo guys, bravo.

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Forged to Fight mobile app game live now

Combiner Wars Starscream beats on DOTM Barricade

Well the new game is out! So all you suckers that dropped mad cash on Earth Wars have a lot of soul-searching to day.

So far I’ve joined alliance RIPT Apparel in hopes to reach the top!  Looking forward to seeing how these two competing mobile games evolve. Remember kids: don’t spend money!