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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!

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The Leftovers is the best tv show in existence – catch up before it departs

Skepticism rises: “I thought this was a Transformers collecting blog…”

It’s not often that I choose to make mention of a non-Transformers piece of pop-culture on this spare blog, but this is my only outlet for writing so this is where I have chosen to make my stand; and that stand is that “The Leftovers” on HBO is currently the greatest drama on television of the three years it has been running.

Originally advertised to “Game of Thrones” fans on Sunday nights, the trailers left me uninterested in the what I believed to be predictable story line about The Rapture. I was dead wrong. The first season semi-follows the path laid out by author Tom Perrotta in his novel by the same name, but season two took the express space-bridge to Cybertron when they transplanted their cast to a sleepy Texas town. Without spoiling anything, season 2 was gripping, mysterious, and left you hungry to answers each episode. If season 1 was a B-, Season 2 was a letter that comes before A that the human race hasn’t invented yet.

With future of the show uncertain at the time of season 2’s finale, fans took to the streets dressed as the Guilty Remnant and stalked HBO’s NYC Headquarters with handwritten “renew” signs. This is definitely the kind of fandom action and cosplay I can get behind. It is unclear if the staged cult event had any bearing on HBO’s decision, but it seems execs reluctant compromised to the give the show another season… labeled as the last one.

There must be something freeing about knowing the work you are toiling on has some finality to it. I believe the ending of season 2 manifested from the uncertainty of a season 3 or 4 and resulted in a somewhat acceptable finale if it were to become the end of the story. That is not the case however, and so the ending is even more satisfying, knowing that there is a chance to wrap up the really big mysteries. The writing team has profusely stated we will never get an answer to what the departure actually is… but the upcoming trailer teases us on that very premise.

I recommend watching this artful and excellent trailer, and if you’re on the edge of you seat like me, you must be saying “That phone call, WTF!!!”  Here’s hoping that Nora Durst can get some solace before episode 30.

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Someone fully animated a scene from More than Meets The Eye – Skids vs legistlators

Stop what you’re doing and watch this right now!

So this incredible piece of animation essentially uses the comic panels illustrated by Alex Milne in More Than Meets The Eye issue 2 as key frames for the sequence.  This must have been no easy feat…

The sound and voice acting is from a audio-comic fan retelling of the entire issue by a group calling themselves Team Train Wreck.  Their efforts are also well-received by this Collecticon and it also deserves a focus watch if you’re a fan of the comics. See below.

I’m simply breathless every time I see one of these intense fan creations to augment the already incredible comic book. If anything this just shows how much the core fanbase would love to see the More Than Meets The Eye storyline come to life in animated form.

I give a heart-felt thank you to the fans that are spending their free time contributing to these types of projects and I simply cannot wait for the next batch!!!

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More MPM-3 Masterpiece Movie Bumblebee comparison images

MPM3-masterpiece-movie-bumblebee-comparison-transformers

This thing is definitely growing on me, and I’m getting excited for Movie Transformers again!  Way to go Hasbro!

I am a little miffed why this is labeled MPM-3 when Hasbro never released anything under the movie masterpiece line… just a strange slight of hand there.  The MPM (masterpiece Movie) toyline only ever had two entries in its catalogue, MPM-1 Starscream, also known as Leader Starscream in the Hunt For The Decepticons Line, and MPM-2 Bumblebee, which was a repaint of Battle Ops Bumblebee.

MPM3-masterpiece-movie-bumblebee-comparison-bot

I have no idea where these images are from, but how did they get ahold of new photos of an unreleased MP figure!?

Later figures you might expect in a line called Masterpiece Movie were under Hasbro Asia only. So whatever guys, do what you want, just give us these awesome re-imagined figures!MPM3-masterpiece-movie-bumblebee-comparison-vehicle-car