Tag Archives: Collecting

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TV casting call for one lucky Transformers collector – Design Rescue

Design Rescue logo

I sure hope they rescue the logo first

I was recently contacted regarding an by a casting director in LA looking for Transformers collectors.   They were looking for specifically Transformers collectors with “lavish” collections and who own their own home.  I chose to pass this opportunity on to everyone and hope to find the biggest and best out there. Long story short, I passed the info on to TFsource in order to reach a broader audience and today they made the public announcement about the casting call.

The show is a new series and will be titled “Design Rescue.”  It is of the reality TV vein and will feature a group of professional interior designers improving a displayed collection of Transformers.  So essentially, if you have 2000+ plastic figures invading your entire living room, you might be the perfect candidate for this show.  The way I put it to my friends was that they are looking to “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” your Transformers display.  Personally, I fear that the producers may be underestimating the true volume of toys in some Transformers Collectors’ houses.  Any extra interest in the hobby is welcome by me though and I cannot wait to see the finished episode!!!!

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Is the Lucky Draw Transformer dead as we know it?

Lucky Draw Animated Optimus Prime promo graphic

I thought they said this was a Lucky Draw

Earlier this year we were treated to the announcement that Lucky Draw Transformers were coming back for TakaraTomy animated.  In fact, there have been more special exclusive items in Takara Tomy’s Animated line than almost any toyline in recent memory.  One of the first announced exclusives expected to become a new Lucky Draw was a gold-chromed edition of Deluxe Animated Optimus Prime.  Fast forward to this week and the figure is about to come to life but with an expected release batch of around 1,000.  Come again?

KOtoys has posted a great gallery of the figure, which also means this rare “Lucky Draw” toy has been leaked from the factory like most other figures in the past 3-4 years.  Put this all together and any seasoned collector will roll their eyes at the notion of this figure fitting into the lucky draw category.

Earlier this Summer, we were warned that the Animated Black Convoy would be of a sort of Lucky Draw status as well, but that turned out to be false.  Prices fell and individual suppliers were easily able to meet the demand for this coveted Black Prime.  Now for one of the first times, an originally advertised lucky draw figure is available on the Black market of Transformers.

KOtoys Lucky Draw Animated Optimus Prime

Who needs luck now?

So what’s the big deal?

Let’s start with what a Lucky Draw toy is.  By definition, Lucky Draw toys are toys that start with a value of zero because they are given away free via a random drawing promotion.  This is a very common practice with magazines or individual toy shops in Japan.  Some collectors fiend over lucky draw toys and will pay prices into the thousands to obtain a figure that only a handful of other humans can possibly ever own.  The point is that since there are usually under 20 of any one particular figure produced, their value is forever stratospheric and can become the cornerstone of any collection.  The Lukcy draw market is small, with the various figures passing from hand to hand of a small Transformer elite (The TF Illuminati I like to call them).

That being said, the problem lies in that the term “Lucky Draw Transformer” equates to two ideals:

1- The figure is given away via random drawing to a limited quantity

2- That limited quantity is incredibly low in order to increase the desirability of the initially zero-value figure.

Transformers Lucky Draw Silver Animated Bumblebee

Hey guys, I'm a real SILVER bug!

This second part of the equation is beginning to wane so much that a new term for these upcoming exclusives needs to be coined.  Perhaps “Non-lucky draw” or “psuedo exclusive”.  The term as it stands is obsolete.  Lucky Draw should only refer to the method by which the figures are released, and a new term would indicate the hyper rarity of the figure.

If this really is the death of the lucky draw Transformer toy as we have known it, I will quietly weep.  I love the fact that there are multi-thousand dollar toys to catch out there.  Part of what makes collecting fun is that fact that not everyone can have everything.  Even without the super-high dollar lucky draw toys, there are still other incredibly difficult-to-obtain figures coming out of Japan all the time.  Just check out all the exclusives announced recently a Chara Hobby.  It’s just maddening. X-P

New Transformer Exclusives

What a scrumptous hard-to-find bunch!

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More Transformers collection eye-candy

White collecticon vs black collection

Two-Face!

More awesome photos, this time featuring a Shadow Blade Megatron!

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A seriously awesome toy collection photo

There's a transformer in there if you look really hard!

I’m not sure whose photograph this is, but I really love it. This is the type of dedication I am looking for in toy collectors. Sure, it’s nice to show it off here and there, but this is a lot more graceful and fun than just showing a silly case full of plastic. I commend the photographer, if you see this, will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Blog Tales from the Holiest of Holy Grails

The quest for Black Animated Optimus Prime Part 2: Madness in Kyoto

TakaraTomy Black Animated Convoy in the nega-flesh

TakaraTomy Black Animated Convoy in the nega-flesh. Photo by TFseesaa.net

The first chance to pick up Black Animated Convoy has come and gone.  Photos of the event where the figure was being sold can be seen at Japanese Transformer blog TF-Seesa (site is in Japanese).  This figure was originally expected to be incredibly limited to a total of 300.  This meant the value of the figure was expected to leave planetary orbit as soon as it left the proximity of the sales event.  However, this Collecticon was given a bit of a surprising update from an attendee of the sale:

From Bodhar:

I am officially done visiting the Takara/Tomy Museum near Kyoto.  It was a crazy event because it seems like such a small town wasn’t ready for us ravenous Transformer fans.  Instead of putting the toys behind the cash register, like past events in Tokyo, the toys were placed in the wide open.  There was an ensuing battle royale for the toys, with some Nemesis Primes getting damaged in the melee. I actually ended up at the bottom of the pile, but I did manage to get some quantity.  But that isn’t the good news…

The good news is that Takara/Tomy will hold one more event like this and a Takara/Tomy staff member said they will dramatically increase the stock at the next event.  This news means that it IS NOT only limited to 300, as previously stated by Takara/Tomy.  I didn’t get a direct answer about quantity, but she made it sound like it’ll be over 1000 pieces.

Apparently the event caused a few attendees to get into a scuffle over the figures!!!  How very un-Japanese-like!  It must have been to gaijins!  Also, the event has revealed that far more than the initial 300 figures will be sold in total.  Most likely there will 300 figures available at each event location meaning those that are really fiending for the black crack may find it easier to get their fix.

Hydra at the Transformers Museum in Kyoto, Japan

Oh hai Hydra. You blend in so well around these parts!


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Transformers collection vs. basement flood

Collecticon Transformer collection after the basement flooded

A temporary display featuring my cased figures and other random gems

I have finally found a free second to disclose a sad story to all my fellow Collecticons – this past weekend my basement was victim of sewer back-up and a giant flood in my basement due to a 12-hour torrential downpour that affected the entire Chicago-land area. Anyone that knows me in town is aware that I have done a lot of work to my basement and taken multiple precautions for a situation like this but at some point, the water will always win. Luckily for me, my plastic crack appears to be blessed and it has survived completely unscathed by the treacherous waves. The bulk of my collection is housed within 6 Detolf Ikea cabinets. The water reached the cabinets, but did not breach the 1-inch tall baseboard.

The real pain in the ass came in the form of having to quickly re-locate the figures so we could begin the long clean-up. Over the past 6 years of living in my Chicago condo, my collection has ballooned to what currently feels like 400+ loose figures. I don’t necessarily think that quantity is a major factor in collecting, especially now that I’ve had to begrudgingly move all of them to the upstairs and other various locations. I am seriously considering selling big groups of my collection. I could always cut it down to ONLY Starscreams, which are the corner stone of my collection. It’s just so hard to get rid of figures I feel like I’ve worked so hard to acquire…

So for now, most of my figures have been carefully placed in cardboard boxes which are artfully hidden behind my upstairs couch. The display shown above consists of some of my masterpiece figures and those that I had in beanie baby cases that I’ve bought one by one from The Container Store.  I love those little cases because they fit a lot of G1 figures and deluxe class figures perfectly. I took a poorly lit photograph of the current state of the collection and I’ll do my best to give little updates on the flood aftermath as the months go by.

***BONUS! Video of me trying to return to Chicago amidst the Elmhurt flooding area

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Transformers collecting idioms

A typical Transformers collector in his happy place

So, I don't wanna sound weird or nuthin', but what's with the one MOSC Sunstreaker?

Consider this a quick list of common Transformer Collecting rules of thumb from people all across the board.   Validity of specific statements will be touched upon in the future.  These are real things that real Transformers collectors believe and have said:

“Whatever I sell now, I can always buy back later.”

“If I wait long enough, I will get what I want for the price that I want it for.”

“Prices of Transformers never go down.”

“There is always someone out there that is willing to pay what I want to sell a figure for.”

“A loose figure is never worth as much as the same figure sealed in the box.”

“Sealed figures aren’t worth anything because you can’t actually play with the toy.”

“I will be able to find this on sale at a store later instead of buying it the first time I see it on the shelf.”

“If I see it on the shelf now, I might never see it again so I better buy one, or all of them.”

As you can see, some of these flat our contradict each other.  That is the essence of the Transformers Collector Community.  There is no right way or wrong way, but hundreds of different ways.  As I explore each of these topics in depth, it is my hope that readers will begin to accept the differences amongst us and our collections.

Boy, have I got my work cut out for me…

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Transformers Classics Blue Bumblebee now on Ebay!

Blue Bumblebee poses with Yellow Bumblebee and Bugbite

Blue Bumblebee returns! Now he is on Ebay!

Low and behold, the mysterious Blue Bumblebee found yesterday has popped up again – this time on the Ebay store of legendary seller Mugen Robo Sanctum.

The price of this piece is likely to reach the $300 range if the auction is indeed true: it is being listed as a TakaraTomy Lucky Draw.  The problem with this type of situation is that information is vary limited.  People could end up spending a boat-load of cash on a figure that is mass produced, or else they can “snag” a very rare item at a somewhat lower price than normal.

This is the type of thing that makes Transformers collecting really fun, that is if you have the cash to play the game.  At least we know this is indeed a legit figure, just look at the copyright stamp below!  Collecticon will follow this auction and let you know what happens.  Photos are from Paranooid’s auction.

Blue Bumblebee Copyright stamp

Copyright 2006 Hasbro, Inc. - Takara 2006 - Made in China

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The Transformers ‘Towed to Safety’ giftset discovered

Transformers 2007 movie Towed to Safety giftset

So the legends are true... you DO exist!

Remember back when I introduced the concept of the Unicorn?  Well, today my friends, must be unicorn mating season because they are out in droves.  I have apparently secured some of the last pieces left for my Transformers 2007 Movie MISB collection. Yes, it’s true.  I have them all.  Everything that transformed in that toyline is sealed away in my “vault” so to speak, but the insanity surrounding that is for a future post…

Once I confirm the safe travel of this item, I will explain how I found it.

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TakaraTomy ROTF EZ Exclusives – Soundwave, Demolisher, Fireburst Optimus Prime, Bumblebee

Transformers EZ exclusives from TakaraTomy

Gotta catch'em all!

Here is a fun photo I just took of all of the Transformers EZ exclusives. Can you name them all?