Wednesday 2 January 2019

Yearly Wrap up 2018

As is the usual way of my blog lately, a few posts throughout the year and then I bust out a whole list of crap I picked up during the year.

It’s been an odd year for me, as it turns out there were a heap more Legends Transformers came out than I expected.  Work was a tricky taking my precious precious time away from toys and a couple of ripper video games also doing that too.

Toy wise, I naturally enjoyed the Transformers, although I got the definite feel that bot Hasbro  and Takara were phoning it in with Power of the Primes.  The mix of half-assed Pretenders (I actually like proper pretenders) and a random mish mash of combining other figures makes them feel like left over ideas from Combiner War/Legends.   It also feels like a lot has just been holding the fort until the Bumblebee movie toys come out as well.  

Here in Japan, the Bumblebee movie doesn’t come out until April 2019, yet the toys are flooding the shelves, the POTP figures are disappearing (will I be able to get punch/counterpunch??) and the timing of the Siege line (of which I have some interest) starts in February 2019.  Shelf space seems to be limited and I suspect that the movie toys won’t do so well right now, but will pick up when the movie comes out, but will have run out of steam by then, leaving the Transformers shelves in a rather sorry state.  They already take only a small section of shops (assuming they have a section at all) as it is.

Anyway let me pop up the list of what I acquired this year.

Transformer Legends
  • Octane & Ghost Starscream
  • Bumblebee & Spike
  • Slugslinger
  • Perceptor
  • Blitzwing
  • G2 Megatron.
  • Twintwist
  • Topspin
  • Windblade
  • Greatshot
  • Clonetron Set
  • Clone bot Set
  • Overlord
  • Windblade TM
  • Seaspray
  • Slugslinger
  • Convobat
  • Black Convoy
Power of the Primes
  • Sludge
  • Slug
  • Swoop
  • Snarl
  • Slash
  • Alchemist Prime
  • Liege Maximo
  • Micronus
  • Vector Prime
  • Alpha Trion
  • Beachcomber
  • Blackwing
  • Darkwind
  • Blot
  • Sinnertwin
  • Cutthroat
  • Rippersnapper
  • Hunngrr
  • Battleslash
  • Roadtrap
  • Outback
Other Toys
  • Transformers Masterpiece Sunstreaker
  • Chewing Gum Voltron
  • Ulala Exciting Orange figma
  • Classic Legendary Voltron
  • Mafex Astroboy
  • Mafex RoboCop
  • Tokyo Comic Con Bumblebee Vol 1
  • Titans Returns Black Shadow

So a complete selection of 46 toys for this year (I’m pretty certain that is all I have picked up.  Looking at the list, It’s interesting in that I haven’t picked up a single Figuart figure this year and it’s definitely focused to mainly Transformers and only 1 not-robot figure.   And it seems to be a bit more than usual, but a lot more little cheap figure an fewer expensive figures.

Ulala I mainly got because I just love the music in the first game and have always wanted an Ulala figure.  The Exciting orange version, was a GSC mall online only one and it was 7000 yen.  Which has put me off figma in general as they are getting somewhat expensive… 

Looking at the list and how I feel, I have to admit, I don’t really have a top 5 set of toys….  None of them have really grabbed me as much as the likes of my Number 1s from last year.    So I guess everything will be an Honourable Mention.  AS it is, I think I will talk about the better toys and the disappointments, or ones that didn’t seem as good as they should have been.

Disappoinmtent #1 (and I should have seen this coming)  Legends Greatshot.
If I may quote myself from last years’ top 5 toys, where I included Greatshot as part of the “Toys I’m looking forward to”
On paper, Sixshot ticks all the right boxes, but when I got the G1 version in hand, it really didn’t do it for me.  hopefully, Greatshot with his nice colours will do it for me. 
As it turns out, Greatshot’s colours are not able to pull it off enough.  Don’t get me wrong, it looks good and is a nice enough toy with cool vehicle modes, but for a character that is bound to sell well (Sixshot) and is pretty popular, I think I just expected a little bit more from this guy.  As it is, he’s all right and I like him, but I don’t love him.  Essentially, I’m glad I got Greatshot first, because if I got Sixshot, I wouldn’t have bothered with Greatshot and I think I prefer Great over Six.  The comic looks like a bugger to translate as well.

Disappointment #2 Mafex figures.

Astroboy and RoboCop also featured in my Looking Forward to section.   Astro seems to have heavy paint application, but aside from that is pretty good.  RoboCop looks wonderful and is beautiful, but MAfex dodgy QC  struck mine and just seconds after taking it out of the box, his foot fell off…  (Speaking f which, they have offered exchange, which I need to organise).  Both characters I love and the toys both look great (as do many Mafex toys) but the QC always makes me hesitant, especially considering how pricey Mafex figs are.


Looks like Clarence got to him early.

As an update, I was in contact with MAFEX about RoboCop and they got me a fixed one back super quick, like seriously quick and the new one seems to be just fine and wonderful.

Disappointment #3  Power Of the Primes actual Prime toys (and a boring cartoon)

The Primes and their pretender suits are naff.  They look too big to be anything and don’t resemble heads.  Plugging them onto the gun mode of the pretenders just looks silly and they are just too damn big to fit into the “Prime armour” that the deluxes come with, which is big in itself and looks stupid.  IT doesn’t look too bad plugged into the chest of the combiner robot, but I only have one they come with their own matrix thing anyway.  The youtube cartoon was boring as hell, but a bit more interesting than the preceding Titans Return show.  Still, watching it at high speed was the only way to get through it and there was a lot in there that was total crap.  But hey.  Better than nothing?  I personally would have preferred nothing.

Good stuff time.

Masterpiece Sunstreaker.
Glorious, absolutely wonderful figure.  Complex transformation, but it flows well and makes logical sense.  Car modes looks wonderful, as does super charged mode and the robot has articulation aplenty.  The only negative to this guys was his price.  I want the White version (Cordon) but he’s expensive as well.

POTP Deluxes
While I wasn’t really that sold on combining Dinobtos, I was definitely going to get me some Swoop and Sludge action.  Turns out that I thought they were both pretty good and so picked up Snarl as well.  He wasn’t too shabby, so thought, what the hell.  Might as well get Slag while I was at it.  Sure, they’re not amazing, but they are solid enough figures to provide me with a bit of fun.  It’s just a shame that Grimlock has totally messed up proportions, so my team is lead by Slash…  As it has been, all the POTP deluxes I have gotten have been very enjoyable little figures to mess with.

Legends Black Convoy and Octane.

Being a fan of Octane, I was sure I’d end up getting the voyager version of him when he came out.  With that knowledge, I checked out reviews of the Laser Optimus Prime toy on youtube and came to the conclusion I wasn’t that impressed with it.  Then Takara made Octane with a Ghost Starscream head and I got one.  Turns out that I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  In the interest of the Legends Comic, I ended up getting a Black Convoy for a good price and while the Convoy/Optimus version of the toy is the weaker design of the two, I found myself even liking that as well.  I think it’s more to do with the colours on Optimus than anything else.

Legends Toyline as a whole (yet again...)

As a general rule, all the Legends Transformers have all proven to be very nice.  The Jumpstarter bros were more fun than I thought they’d be and about the only one who disappointed was Overlord, and that is mainly because he/she is a little bit plain, especially as soon afterwards I acquired Black Shadow, who I think is a more impressive version of the base toy.  Overlord’s robot and vehicle modes are cool, but the base lack substance, and for one such as Overlord, that’s an oversight.  The one thing that I was surprised about though, was Black Shadow’s headmaster figure…. My first Titans Returns toy, and yeeesh, do they need some paint on them….
Others I found to be better than I thought were the  Clone sets.  They have a deliciously wonderful generic Transformer cartoon-esque look t them and it’s great.

Other good stuff.

Lion Force Voltron toys a-plenty.

December 2017, Soul of Chogokin Voltron arrived.  Last year I saw some Gum plastic model kit Voltron toys, and then Toynami also did their HUGE Defender Voltron guy as well.  So what feels close enough to one year, I’ve managed to acquire 3 different types of Lion Voltron.  Odd hey?  I still don’t know why I like that Voltron so much.


Oh, I think I have my toy of the year.

Power of The Primes, Abominus.

I love the Terrorcons.  Awesome name, cool monster modes and my most complete team (as a kid) with two characters.  Rippersnapper and Blot have always been a couple of my favourites and it’s nice to see them represented here.  Add to that the actual combined mode is actually pretty good, fairly poseable and colourful too.  It’s nice to see some ankle tilts for the combined bots, that is really what Menasor and Bruticus needed back in Combiner Wars.  As individual bots, some of them are a bit weak (Hunngrr, has a less than impressive beast mode), but as a team they look good and as a combined robot, they look good and are fun to play with.


Next year hopes and fears?  Well, I hope to be able to get around doing more videos than I did this year.  Working less and enjoying myself more.  Toy wise, some of the Siege figures have my eye, Cog, Sixgun, possible Omega Supreme, Masterpiece Beast Megatron is high on the list and I do have Legends Monsterbots and Dai Atlus ordered.  They'll be fun.

It's hard at the moment, as I'm feeling a lot more relaxed in the collection aspect of things now.  So I can't say what I think will be a total ripper next year.   We'll have to wait.


  1. How's the comic translation going?

    1. Slowly but surely. Life has been draining lately not leaving with much time for working on the comics.


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