Tag Archives: Collecting

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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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Attention idiots: Kingdam 6 Starscream is a KNOCK-OFF and not a Diaclone

Knock off Diaclone starscream kingdam 6 robojet

You have got to be fucking kidding me

I came across this listing today on eBay by seller kill4satan.

Seems like a pretty killer price for a genuine 30+ year old pre-transformer Diaclone Jetrobo (aka G1 Starscream).  They have been creeping up past $500 for a few years now.  They are incredibly rare and it’s difficult to find them in great shape outside of Japan.

Except this isn’t a genuine Diaclone Jetrobo, it’s the ever-so-common 30+ year old Kingdam6 knock off of the original.  This thing is a piece of crap.  It’s made of even shoddier plastic than some KO’s today and the box is so blatantly a forgery of the original that even today, people are stupid enough to spend $600+ on one thinking it’s legit.

I used to scour ebay in search of auction listings attempting to cash in on the Kingdam 6 by claiming it was a genuine Diaclone.  I would report every auction I found.  This however, seems to be a seller that did not attempt to mislead his potential buyers, at least not completely.  He put Kingdam6 in the title, but then included Diaclone and Jet Robo.  If you read the box, the kingdam 6’s always say “ROBOJET” along the black side of the box, because Jetrobo was the actual name of the toy.  This can be confusing because the box still says “JET ROBO” across the top.  There are also two versions of this KO, a silver and a light gray version.  The silver version comes in a similar box but it has thundercracker’s box art. Kingdam 6’s are not worth more than $30, although idiots are still out there buying them for $100 at times.  This post is meant to help kick those people in the balls.

Kingdam 6 KO vs diaclone jetrobo

Hmmmm which one would I want to get...?

Here’s a list of identifying features of the Kingdam 6 KO if in the market for a Diaclone:

  • “KINGDAM 6” written in red on the wings
  • Thundercracker box art but the toy looks like Starscream
  • “JETROBO” written in English on the top of the box
  • “ROBOJET” written in English at a 90 degree angle on the side of the box
  • Lack of any Japanese writing on the box, especially across the box art
  • Lack of any old school Takara logo

 

Here’s a list of identifying features of an authentic Diaclone Jetrobo:

  • “DIACLONE” written in red on the wings
  • Japanese writing appears across the box art
  • Japanese kanji logo at the top of the box
  • “JETROBO” written in English at a 90 degree angle on the side of the box

That’s about all the help I can muster for any of you would-be super collectors out there.  If the guy who bought this fake from kill4satan could come forward, I would love to have a chat.  I mean seriously, who spends $600+ and doesn’t do a bit of research?  Kingdam Starscreams are a dime a dozen and you should really be ashamed of yourself.

PS: Dont’ forget there are OTHER official Diaclone Starscreams that seem strange but are completely legit.  Italian GIG Diaclone Starscream comes to mind, and it has bopper missles!  There’s also a Joustra version that has Thundercracker-esque box art.  These are pieces of beauty, and maybe someday… someday I’ll share mine with you.  Ta!

Blog

I still function

Collecticon empty ikea detolf cases

"The Matix... it's empty!"

Yes it’s true, I have not fallen completely off the face of the Earth. I have been… indisposed due to some unfortunate and untimely accidents in my dwelling. This has forced me to permanently remove the shelving upon which my ridiculous character-based loose collection has resided. I have decided to pack everything away in plastic bins (by character of course) until I can make a more safe change.

So for now, I must bid farewell to my toy soliders as they hibernate for the winter. Thanks for staying with me over the past 4 weeks with minimal updates! I swear they are coming.

Collecticon Movie bumblebee collection

It's the bee hive!

Blog

Meet Crave.com

Crave Logo

A few months ago, I caught wind of a new Transformers website that was in the works and had begun to make a presence on the web.  That website was called Crave.com and it has since been trucking ahead at full speed ahead.  I caught up with Erin from Crave and got a chance to ask a few questions about the site and what it means to the general collector community at large.  Check out our discussion below and see for yourself.


Collecticon: For those that might be hearing about Crave for the first time, can you give a general overview of what the website is and how it related to the Transformers community at large?

A: Crave (www.crave.com/transformers) is the only Transformers-dedicated marketplace for fans, by fans.  We’ve focused on making it easy to buy & sell with other collectors by having standardized product listings.  Every Transformer released shows up in our catalog so fans know which one they are buying or selling.   In addition, fans can help each other find great deals by giving price feedback and discussing the Transformers on the listing pages.  Many members have told us it feels a lot like buying & selling at a convention.

Collecticon: How is the site at Crave designed to function? What specific features does the site offer that you can’t find anywhere else? In a nutshell, tell us why Crave is so special and why even the casual Transformers collector needs to take a look.

A: Crave is unique for two reasons.  First, we actively help you find what’s on your want list. We have a fan-created catalog of every Transformer ever released, so you can browse it check off your “wants.”  When one of your “wants” goes up for sale, you get an email alert.  Second, it is a social experience.  Fans login with Facebook, so you can get to know the real people, their collections, their listings, and their opinions.  Our mission to to build a community where fans help fans collect and can share the fun of collecting Transformers.

Crave.com screenshot

Crave.com series selector

Collecticon: How long has everyone been working behind the scenes at Crave before launch, and when was the official launch?

A: We started Crave a year ago as an experiment and it has evolved based on the fans’ feedback. It began last summer when we had a closed beta version of the site.  At first the site let fans collaborate on a Transformers catalog and set of interactive checklists. We added features for fans to share what they have and want, then they asked us to add buying & selling features. So, we launched the marketplace at the beginning of November.

crave homepage

The Crave homepage

Collecticon: So why might a seasoned Transformer seller want to post their potential sales at Crave versus a place like Ebay or a Transformers messageboard?

A: Great question. First, selling on Crave is free and listings don’t expire. Second, listing on Crave is fast. A seller finds the Transformer they are selling in the catalog and then just clicks “Sell Yours” instead of going through a labor-intensive writing process.

Finally, Crave is in the middle of the transaction (like Amazon). The buyer pays Crave, the seller ships with tracking, then after delivery confirmation, we transfer payment to the seller. We’ve found this reduces the problems like non-payment or not-as-described items that sellers and buyers complain about on other sites. Our sellers really like this structure.

Collecticon: Can you tell us any success stories between buyers and sellers that have occurred since the launch of the site?

A: In January we started seeing the number of transactions doubling every month which surprised us.  We realized that the community was developing and that led to a lot repeat buyers and sellers.  One of our most frequent sellers has remarked that he has had over 30 repeat buyers purchasing his figures and that never happened on eBay.  He loves the fact that Crave helps him establish relationships with other collectors.  We’ve also found that our system of creating want lists and alerting buyers when what they want goes up for sale is a very effective way at helping collectors find what they are looking for.
It’s exciting to help make fans happy.

Collecticon: The blog section of Crave contains some very well-written and exhaustive articles thus far. You even have some guest blogs from Bensen Yee, who is notable as a Transformers fan that has ‘crossed the divide’ to become a brand consultant for Hasbro. How does Crave plan to continue this quality of blog and will we see any more familiar faces in the coming months?

A: Thanks for the positive feedback. Ben and others have been generous with their insights and knowledge. The blog is focused on showcasing fans & their collections, as well as sharing collector knowledge about Transformers. As far as familiar faces go, we have since done blog interviews with Jim Sorensen and TCC’s Pete Sinclair. You can also find information on our past contests, special listings that have gone up on the site, and fan generated content. Recently we started a weekly guest post about customization written by one of our members, Joe Lewis. Joe comes up with custom projects himself, takes meticulous photos, and writes out very detailed and humorous explanations of his customs work. It is a lot of fun!

Collecticon: Crave is targeting something many other Transformers sites have been lagging on in the recent years: the social experience. In what ways is Crave reaching Transformers fans and the general public that other sites are not?

A: We believe that collecting is a social experience, but at most marketplaces or retail sites you don’t get to connect with other fans & share opinions on the potential purchases or new releases. We integrated a social experience on the Crave site by letting fans create collection profiles and browse those of other fans. They can also comment, like, share, or vote ‘Good Price’ on Transformers listings.
You can see the most recent activity on the homepage
(www.crave.com/transformers).

Collecticon: After deciding on a general name like ‘Crave’ over a more Transformer-centric title, it could be surmised that the company may have far loftier goals than just assisting the tried and true Transformer collector niche. What can you divulge about the scope of Crave beyond the world of Transformers, if any?

A: The Transformers marketplace will stay and always remain strictly Transformers. We do also have plans to branch out. We have just opened our second marketplace, Star Wars, and have plans for more.
Currently on our main site homepage (www.crave.com) you have the option of entering either one of our live marketplaces or you can vote on which marketplace we should launch next.

Collecticon: And last but not least, Autobot or Decepticon?

A: Autobot

Blog

Dark of the Moon toy binge – Day 2

Dark of the moon toy haul

Toy collecting is serious business

We are becoming masters of ass-holeish behavior. Each store is a different story. Some you win, some you lose.

Pile of Dark of the Moon toys

The spoils of War for Cybertron

Uncategorized

One year of Collecticon – My new Transformers display

The new 2011 Collecticon toy display

I don't think I'll have much difficulty filling the empty spaces

I thought I ought to take a second to post today because it marks the one year anniversary of my starting this blog. The big picture still has yet to reveal itself but I am happy that I successfully kept up the blog for an entire year.

I also wanted to share my plans for my new Transformers collection display. I haven’t re-organized since the flood back in July and I am finally going to get the toys back in their place this weekend. It’s funny how I started this with just 2 ikea shelves… and now I have 9. I’ve been imposing restrictions on my collection forever, but still I end up with this many plastic figures??! I also wanted to highlight that we’ve made it to TFsource video review #20, Primus!

So if you have any thoughts on my character-based collection display, I’m all ears!  Thanks for sticking with me all year I hope we can make it through all over again in 2011!

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Hasbro Generations 3.0 Thundercracker lives (again) – now with proof!

Generation 1 Thundercracker cartoon

Thundercracker responds just like a thousand other Transfans - horrifying gasp as a valuable piece of himself crumbles to the floor like so many shattered dreams.

FOR REALS THIS TIME!

Who knew that my most embarrassingly falsified post has turned out to be as true as the testimony of OJ Simpson!?  TFW2005.com has reported a preorder on Big Bad Toy Store for Generations 3.0 Thundercracker.

Read it and weep boys.

So does time really heal all wounds?  It’s hard to say, the 2007 Botcon Seeker scars run deep… soooo deep.  I guess it’s time to give up collecting in general, huh guys?  Guys? Hello?  Is anyone there?  Where’d you all go!?!?!?

Transformers Generations 3.0 Thundercracker preorder at BBTS

A tear

Blog

Meet Dwolla.com – Giving the middle finger to a-holes like Paypal

Fuck paypal scampal

So clever and poignant. NOT!

Paypal logo illustration by Michael Jan as illustrated on his blog.

As an avid Transformer buyer and dealer as well as an early adopter to online transactions, I am all too familiar with Paypal.  If you haven’t heard of it, then what are you doing reading this blog about buying and selling Transformers?  Other long-time Paypal users like me have seen the costs per transaction increase steadily throughout the years, and this is most likely due to the ongoings practices of its parents company, Ebay. The ease of use and popularity of the Paypal transaction system can sometimes be overlooked once it comes to the reality of doing business in this way; and by reality I mean the one unavoidable aspect of each paypal transaction: The dreaded Paypal fee.

The Paypal fee is a two-tiered process.  Removing money from the Paypal system and adding it to your bank incurs a % fee and receiving money for a transaction or purchase from a buyer incurs an adjustable fee as well.  The fee is on a sliding scale but usually lands somewhere around 1.5% of the total payment involved.  The total value of large amounts appear to bloat or decrease depending on which side of the coin you find yourself on.  In the end, the Paypal fee serves as a pseudo tax and increases the costs of utilizing an online cashflow.

Many Transformers sellers have circumvented this fee by requesting to be paid “as a gift” or asking their buyers to “gift” them their paypal payments.  Some sellers will even upcharge their buyers if they refuse to gift the funs, citing that they need to pay their paypal fees.  This is quite humorous considering that most small-time Transformers “dealers” have never actually run a business of any scale and don’t understand the meaning of “operating costs.”  Passing on your Paypal fees to your buyers is the lowest form of business-ethic around.  Since I recently discovered that a seller has stiffed me on a more than $350 transaction, I am realizing I will never again gift Paypal payments to anyone I don’t know in person.  Let it be know that you cannot retrieve any payments that were originally declared as a gift.

Dwolla.com: Autobot Approved

Transform your transactions!

Enter Dwolla.com, a Des Moines-based start-up determined to thwart online-transaction giants like Paypal by offering flat rate $.25 transactions.  That’s right, you can send $1 Million or more for the one-time low price of $.25.  This may completely erase the sticky situation individual buyers and sellers find themselves in when it comes to who needs to pay the Paypal fee.  Instead, it should now be a no-contest decision for the seller to fork over $.25 to receive a payment of dozens, to hundreds of dollars of cool hard cash.  Legitimate online retail owners should be flocking to Dwolla in droves to shave thousands of dollars a year off of their bottom line.

What does this mean to Paypal?  I’m sure they aren’t batting an eyelash.  Their stance has always been to be the first int he market and be the biggest.  Paypal has been around for over ten years and they have big-time seniority.  Still, I would never underestimate the power of innovation when it is pitted against greed…

So will Dwolla gain enough users to make a dent in Paypal or even Google Checkout’s annual revenue?  Probably not at first, but I’m signing up and I’m NEVER looking back!

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US Anti-terrorism efforts set to destroy Japanese toy exports – 1 lb limit for US-bound package

Japanese plane explodes on runway

Dear God, someone tried to import Fire Convoy again!!!

An incredibly frustrating column was posted today at The Japan Times Online. Apparently due to anti-terrorism efforts by the United States of America, Japan Post Services Co. will instigate a weight limit to all US-bound packages.  This means that any package that is typically sent EMS, which is a favorite for individual Japanese toy enthusiasts in the United States, must now weigh under 1 pound or 453 grams.

FedEx apparently will still allow US-bound mail to be whatever weight it wants, but the international shipping charges for FedEx are through the roof and not something most toy enthusiasts and Transformers collectors will be willing to pay on a regular or consistent basis.  This could really limit the options for obtaining new Japan-only figures except for via large retailers such as TFsource or Big Bad Toy Store.

Probably the most infuriating thing of all is that this kind of setback is created by my own government under the guise of national security.  Collecticon is not meant to be a political soundboard so I’ll just grumble to myself..

Check out this quote from the article:

The Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. has informed air carriers of the 453-gram rule, and carriers notified Japan Post Services, the spokesman said. The rule applies not only to packages from Japan but from other countries

So I hope the implications of this are clear to everyone: you will no longer be able to receive large packages from Japan.  This means no Fort Max, no grouping large quantities of figures into one package to ‘save on shipping’, no Predaking 2010, and no Rodimus!  Just about the only way you’ll be able to get your hands on these upcoming large figures is by purchasing from a current Japanese toy importer stationed in the US.  They will not be affected because the quantities they purchase are large and sent through alternate methods than the Japan Post Services Co.  This doesn’t only affect Japan either: The US imposing these limits on many countries around the world.  Pretty soon we’ll be living behind a giant wall, never to see the rest of the world again. Le sigh…’

Special thanks to Professor Smooth for the tip on this article

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First ever Knock-off Diaclone version G1 Transformer – Diaclone Swoop “reissue” hits the market

Knock off Diaclone Swoop in G1 box

Me Swoop no see nothing

And that’s all folks.  The knock-off train has officially left the station.  We are now seeing knock offs of toys that never existed, namely a Transformers-branded Diaclone Swoop (now on ebay!).  This is a figure that has reach upwards of $700 to attain due to the unique molds and paint-scheme akin to our beloved Generation 1 cartoon version of the dinobot Swoop.  I would assume that this “limited to 500” Diaclone version in fabricated Generation 1 box is made by the same group that put out the first wave of G1 Dinobot reissues.  At least said-group appears to be getting smarter.  Although it would be cool to get a sharp-beaked blue-chested G1 swoop, I am forced to solemnly ask “Is nothing sacred?”

Heed my warning super collectors – The dawning of Blue Bluestreak is upon us.  Sell your original while you still can!!!!

This really makes me kind of want to give up the whole collecting game.  For all those that sneer at Hasbro for “neglecting the collectors,” this is for once a glaring instance of that happening.  With the lack of a firm stance or case against those churning out these “reissues,” the collector market is suffering severely.  Good luck to any that are able to secure one of these supposedly “high quality reissues.”  Bah-humbug.

Check out this video reviewing the item in question by Youtube User thecollector75: