Sunday, May 28, 2017

An Unintended But Very Welcome Hiatus. And Buying Transformers Titans Returns.

So it's been a few months since my last posting here. I didn't do this on purpose, no thought about going on hiatus. Well, that's not entirely true, I talk about ending collecting and walking away from internet fandom all the time. But in this case...it just happened. I got busy with other things, I didn't feel a need to really say anything here, and I feel like there was far fewer people stopping by to read the posts anyway.

Folks always say you need to blog for yourself, and yeah that sounds great and all, but everybody wants others to come find you. I don't get paid to blog. I don't make any money from ad revenue. Nobody is sending me free toys to review. I do this to get another viewpoint on toys out there. Maybe one that isn't biased towards a certain item because it's been gifted them. Or maybe a viewpoint not completely biased towards any one brand of producer. Or maybe you're poor like me and like to know that you're not the only one who can't afford $6000 Diaclone Car Robot toys. But maybe what I say or share isn't doing it. A few weeks after posting a mini photo review of the TakaraTomy Legends Leo Prime it carried an absolutely craptacular views rating:
Not gonna lie, that was a real downer. I got the review up just days after release. I felt I was pretty optimistic on the toy, and the pics weren't too bad. But it didn't take. Even after posting pics and links around the net I pulled in only the normal group of folks I would expect, my net friends. I have had minor mentions of preschool aged toys like Octonuats put this viewing rating to absolute shame. Any motivation to continue my blogging was dying. I still posted a few more things and then it just didn't go on. And that's where it is now. Or was before this posting.
Air Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミーAir Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミー
Air Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミー
During the blog hiatus I was still very much active in and around the Transformers and Imaginext fandom, and buying stuff. Missing and passing on much more however. I would even take pics of my hauls in case I needed material for blogs. I just never did much more than maybe post a pic or two to social media outlets. I've really been more active in Transformers collecting than I have in years. It's all thanks to Transformers Titans Return and TF Legends. I have been trying my best to keep up with new releases, but cash is not my friend right now. Neither is brick and motor. I am having the worst time locating all of Titans wave 4, and now wave 5 is starting to trickle in. It may very well be time I move on from retail store and go ahead and order online. Ultimately it will cost me more, but be a much smaller hassle.
Aside from buying toys and avoiding my blog I have been working on new GanguStars project ideas. I bounced around a few themes, and solicited some feedback from friends. I think I have a general idea of what I would like to do next. What I have already started on is a multi-toy line toy guide, and a new trade site.
Tomy Starriors RATS Zoids Hasbro Air Raiders 1987 Mini Spies Transformers
I hope to have the first "Pocket Guide" out by Fall. I still need a few toys to fill it out, so that requires extra cash that I don't have just yet. That could delay the project. Money seems to delay all my projects. That and just an overall procrastination I seem to maintain for everything. The second thing 'm working right now is "GanguStars Swap", a site where I will offer my toys for trade. And at times for sale or auction. More on that later.

I'll try to get the next post up before another couple months go by, maybe even shoot one off later in the week. Or maybe I won't. :)


Air Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミー

Monday, March 20, 2017

February...March...2014...2015...2016...Cleaning Is Hard! I'll Do It In 2017.

This is how February started for me. It was cold, it was snowy. This particular day we actually had some sun, which was the case for most of the days leading up to and following it. Aside from work and grabbing food, I didn't want to go out. I barely even toy shopped, instead I checked store counts online. It was the perfect chance to get back to organizing my stuff. Something I have been working on quite literally for years now. So of course, this happened and that happened and I spent hours watching this show, and those movies. I discovered new treats...
..and then February was gone. I wasted a whole month, and one that I usually don't work a lot of hours at my job. February, March and even half of January are great for me getting projects done because I have more free time. But so many other odd things sprang up like helping my parents, birthdays, power outages, net outages, cleaning up my collection just got pushed to the side. So we move onto March.
This is how March started for me. It was cold, it was snowy. So again, I'm not going outside unless I have to. Unlike last month where I blew off my collection, I actually jumped into doing some clean up. It's been super, s-u-p-e-r slow going, because I tend to linger on boxes of stuff I haven't had out of storage in awhile. Then I want to take pics, or pose things, display them a few days. Collector stuff. But I see this as good, I'm at least getting something done. Part of the big "needs to get done" list is deciding what I can let go of. I keep saying it here, in social media posts, on forums...I'm running out of space!
Machine Robo マシンロボ Popy Bandai 1984 1982 Gobots Japanese Robots Starriors Tomy R.A.T.S. Japanese
タカラ Transformers  Mini-Spies トランスフォーマー
Machine Robo, Starriors and Mini-Spies. Got a lot, used to have a lot more. For Starriors I am already trying to let loose some of my extras, but nobody seems to want them at the prices I paid. I won't sell at a loss, so for now I will just wait it out. I trimmed my Machine Robo and Gobots collection down to bare bones 10 years ago, so that's pretty much set. I wouldn't expect to get rid of any more of those in the near future. But my Transformers Mini-Spies and Takara versions could stand to be thinned out a little. Having every color, faction and wheel spoke variant doesn't seem as important now. At least not like it did 20 years ago.
Euro Tiger Force MOSC G.I.ジョー G.I.joe Takara タカラ 1984 action figuresCobra Commander G.I.ジョー G.I.joe Takara タカラ 1984 action figures
G.I.ジョー G.I.joe Takara タカラ 1984 action figures
G.I.Joe reduced to a mere pile. Aside from my Terror Drome, Kre-O collection and another couple small boxes of Cobra Commander stuff, this pic above is what's left of my G.I.Joe collection. My 25th/ME set almost completely sold away, Tiger Force rarities auctioned off, and various bits picked up by other collectors in the last 5 years. I wont get into the why of selling it all off, but things just became less fun around 2011. It still isn't fun, so I'll be dropping some more stuff soon.
Imaginext Batman バットマン DC ComicsImaginext Batman バットマン DC ComicsImaginext Batman バットマン DC Comics
Imaginext is taking over. In a big way. I keep telling myself I need to stop being a MIB and loose collector for this line. I can't keep a set of boxed things and also pick up another set to open. Imaginext takes up half my toy storage space right now,a nd it will only grow with more and more new releases coming. I can cut space usage by at least 25-35% by throwing out all the boxes. But that isn't easy to come to grip with. For right now I have to think about getting rid of all the doubles and triples you see in the pic directly above. Keeping all these extras is hurting my ability to add new unique items.

 So that's about where I'm at. Nowhere near the finish line, but a hell of a lot closer than I have been in the last few years. Going forward I have to do a much, much better job at keeping things organized and inventoried. It's sad when you open a box and see a toy you just bought because you forgot you already owned it.



1984 action figures G.I.ジョー g.i.joe Gobots imaginext Japanese Robots Machine Robo Starriors batman Transformers トランスフォーマー バットマン マシンロボ タカラ

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Art Of Advertising Vol.1 Is Back In Print!

Art Of Advertising Vol.1:The 70's, 80's & 90's is now back in print and ready to order! It is being released in a anew "Standard Edition" and at a cheaper cost! It's got the same amount of content as before, but with a 38% reduction is book price.
A "lightly critiqued" visual analysis on 25 years of Japanese toys ads. This 174 page full color books contains 165 toy ads from over 20 different companies. Ads feature some of the greatest toy brands to come out of Japan, Microman, the Sentai series, Ultraman, Transformers and so many more.



 Notes about ordering:
This is a print on demand book that will be made once ordered.

Shipping will be determined by location, and the book will ship directly from the printer. The shipping costs differ drastically from location to location. For those interested but living outside the United States, please check shipping costs prior to finalizing your order, in some extreme cases the shipping may cost more than the actual book. Here are some rough estimates (the lowest price being the slowest, the highest being priority or express mailing): Canada $9-$29, United Kingdom $9-$25, France $12-$33, Denmark $12-$33, Japan $35-$38, Italy $12-$33 and Hong Kong $35-$38.

One last important thing, printing errors do sometimes occur. If you have any issues related to the printing of a book, like a blank page or missing pages, please contact the printer and they will help you.




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Monday, February 27, 2017

Transformers Legends LG41 Leo Prime, Beast Wars Second To None.

Transformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion TakaraTransformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion Takara
It's been almost 20 years since I got the original Lio Convoy toy from Takara. At the time that was a great little toy. I'd soon get sick of how Beast Wars was being handled in the U.S. and sell off all my Beast toys, but as time has gone on I kept wanting another Lio Convoy. The character has gone through some changes, had other minor releases but to be honest none has really caught my full attention. Leave it to the Titans Return/Legends series to finally get another Lio Convoy, now named Leo Prime into my toy collection.
Transformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion TakaraTransformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion Takara
Transformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion Takara
The toy is the Japanese TakaraTomy release of the Hasbro Titans Return Alpha Trion mold done up in Beast Wars Second Lio Convoy styling. It works. It actually works extremely well. Even better than Alpha Trion I feel. The Titans and Legends lines have had me from the get go. But my collecting of the toys has been jumbled a bit. I haven't been able to collect in order, and I haven't exactly stuck to my original purchasing plans. The Alpha Trion toy wasn't even in my line of sight, but I bought it on a whim when I first seen it. I'm glad I did, because I think it's a great toy. Because of that I knew I'd just go ahead and pre-order Leo prime the second it went up for sale. There's been a lot of complaints about Alpha Trion as a lion, and even a few complaints that the mold doesn't exactly work for Leo Prime. It's a fun mold, it doesn't bother me for either character, and I'm a guy who thinks Alpha Trion has never needed another form outside of his old G1 robot-centric design.
Transformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion TakaraTransformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion Takara
This toy also features the awesome sword that Alpha Trion came with, and it's still absolutely gorgeous in this release. TakaraTomy also included a rifle that Alpha Trion didn't have, a re-color of Astrotrain's gun. It doesn't really work, at least mine doesn't. The peg is too small, and kind of hangs in there super loose, flopping about. Doesn't matter, with that sword all other weapons are pointless.
Transformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion Takara
Okay, on to another of my favorite parts, the Headmaster. This is the same main body that was used for both Sentinel Prime, ConvoBat and Astrotrain. The head mode faceplate is the same as Sentinel Prime and ConvoBat as well. One minor gripe here, the red paint used for the robot's arms and legs is too thin to cover the blue plastic and looks "cheap" because of it. It needed a white primer, or a more opaque paint.
Transformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion TakaraTransformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion Takara
 I've been hesitant on some of the Legends releases, like Astrotrain, but I'm very happy with Leo prime and glad I didn't waste any time in getting him. It looks like he's still available for a great price, if you haven't made up your mind yet, I'd say give him a shot.
Transformers トランスフォーマーレジェンズ LG 41 レオプライム Titans Return Leo Prime Lio Convoy Beast Wars Hasbro Alpha Trion Takara




Transformers hasbro robots Takara 2017 1988 action figures タカラ ミクロマン トランスフォーマー レジェンズ

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Transformers Legends LG-39 Brainstorm: You Tried Your Best TakaraTomy!

Transformers トランスフォーマー レジェンズ LG 39 ブレインストーム Titans Return Brainstorm Headmaster Masters
This is a great toy! It's a great use of the mold, fantastic color, and I love the new head TakaraTomy created for it. It just doesn't happen to be my favorite Brainstorm we got from TF Legends/TF Titans Return. I got this Legends Brainstorm the same day as Super Ginrai, Soundwave, Condor and Jaguar. Of those 5 toys, only 2 rank higher than their Hasbro counterpart for me. It could be one reason I held off, and have still not ordered the Legends Astrotrain. In that toy's case, I already know I like the Hasbro toy accurate look far more. But back to Brainstorm...
Transformers トランスフォーマー レジェンズ LG 39 ブレインストーム Titans Return Brainstorm Headmaster MastersTransformers トランスフォーマー レジェンズ LG 39 ブレインストーム Titans Return Brainstorm Headmaster Masters
With these recent toys being so connected to Headmasters, I've been watching the Japanese series again as of late. TakaraTomy absolutely nailed it on this toy. The coloring, the new head, all perfectly matching the character in the show. But my interests don't always fit what others want, and hell, not even what I want all the time. In this case, toy accurate, show accurate didn't win me over. I got the first Brainstorm, the Walgreens exclusive in the U.S. and I was like "wow, great toy!" and wondered if I needed to buy another. I then got the Titan Force SDCC+ exclusive Brainstorm and felt "I love this look and style! Amazing toy!", and again wondered should I really buy another one? I succumbed to my own pressure and went ahead and ordered the Legends Brainstorm and once again thought "wow, great toy!", maybe one too many? The SDCC version really does it for me, and as cool as the Legends toy is, I would rank it 2nd among the 3 versions.
Transformers トランスフォーマー レジェンズ LG 39 ブレインストーム Titans Return Brainstorm Headmaster MastersTransformers トランスフォーマー レジェンズ LG 39 ブレインストーム Titans Return Brainstorm Headmaster Masters
Now when I'm ranking these toys, I use only the core figure for comparisons. I don't include any extras, and specifically didn't include the TF Legends Brainstorm's drone partner Synapse. Had I included the drone in my decision making then yeah, Legends wins hands down. I love the little Titan Masters/Drones, my favorite parts of these toy lines. Synapse does not disappoint. And it's a lovely shade of blue, which always helps. The Synapse drone is a re-color of the Titan Master Brawn vehicle. I love the brawn toy because it takes on the alt mode of Brawn in a way, and also has a cool motorbike transform, as well as a great weapon mode. It's a solid toy all around, and just my opinion, much better in blue than green and yellow.
Transformers トランスフォーマー レジェンズ LG 39 ブレインストーム Titans Return Brainstorm Headmaster MastersTransformers トランスフォーマー レジェンズ LG 39 ブレインストーム Titans Return SDCC Brainstorm Headmaster Masters
I can see where all these different releases of the same mold with maybe at best minor paint app additions can get to collectors, but I'm not there yet. Transformers Combiner Wars and now Titans Return is full of them, but I feel that for the most part Hasbro and TakaraTomy are getting really good at creating 2 very different looks out of the same core design. Can't wait to see what lies ahead for Titans Return and Power of the Primes!



Transformers hasbro robots Takara 2017 1988 action figures タカラ トランスフォーマー レジェンズ