Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Love Affair With Collectible Toy Books, Art Books And More! (Street Fighter Robotech Transformers Diaclone)

I've always loved looking at toys in books, catalogs and even advertisements. For as long as I can remember anyhow. What started as "wishlisting" out of Christmas catalogs and toy pack-in brochures moved on to movie and television art and design books and then onto collector created toy guides. I still recall my first exposure to art books based of a property I loved, Star Wars. While I was told I was too young for such books when they were first published in the 80's. The next big knock to my senses was when I got my hands on, and was able to buy, the Robotech Art 1.  The Robotech series had a profound effect on me. It wasn't just cool looking transforming robots like In Transformers, it had a good story too. A real story, which I'm sorry to say Transformers just did not have. Although I still love Transformers deeply. Having the art book to go with the Robotech show and toys I was buying was fantastic. A few years later when my buying habits become more "collecting" I found a local comic store using a toy price guide. I had seen a few toy guides by this time, but most were grainy, crappy black and white newspaper print guides. This was a deluxe, hardcover guide with a good amount of color pages. My brothers and I would ask to look at the guide whenever we were at the shop. Sadly they couldn't get a copy for us. That is until an updated edition hit in 1992. We were ecstatic, we looked at that book for hours and hours. That book was Tomart's Price Guide to Action Figure Collectibles. While we could not have cared less about the pricing aspect of it, we did love the break down f toy lines, and a look at stuff we had, or were never able to get. To this day this book still sits proudly on my shelf.
action figures Diaclone g.i.joe Machine Robo robotech Takara Transformers おもちゃ タカラ ダイアクロン トランスフォーマー マクロス ミクロマン Street Fighter マシンロボ
I was able to eventually grab all the Art of Star Wars reprint books in the early 90's. But a return to Transformers and a huge amount of my hobby funds being put into Japanese imports since 1991 is what really took over my collectible bookshelf space. Two books that need to really be mentioned are the first book of just Transformers collectibles I bought, and my first internet purchase ever made.
action figures Diaclone g.i.joe Machine Robo robotech Takara Transformers おもちゃ タカラ ダイアクロン トランスフォーマー マクロス ミクロマン Street Fighter マシンロボ
In 1994 I was supposed to go to the first BotCon show. A buddy and I saw the ad in Tomarts (or was it AFD?) and thought it would be fun.A mix up of schedules meant we missed the show. But when word of another show in 1995 came I was in for sure. In just a little time I found Fumihiko Akiyama's booth, and there was some great stuff. For someone who had only a glimpse at the world of Japanese Transformers before now, I was blown away. One thing I knew I had to have was his fan guide about the toy released in Japan, aptly titled The Transformers In Japanese Missions. The book is filled with info as well as pics of the toys and some of their packages. It's an early ancestor to the Transformers Generations guide.
action figures Diaclone g.i.joe Machine Robo robotech Takara Transformers おもちゃ タカラ ダイアクロン トランスフォーマー マクロス ミクロマン Street Fighter マシンロボaction figures Diaclone g.i.joe Machine Robo robotech Takara Transformers おもちゃ タカラ ダイアクロン トランスフォーマー マクロス ミクロマン Street Fighter マシンロボ
It was in 1995 that I also picked up my first import guide online. Up to this point my books had all been purchased at Japanese bookstores or comic shows. My interest in Street Fighter at a high led me to buy the Magnificent World Of Chun-Li. I'd love to say it was from Kimono My House, but did they have a web presence then? Anyhow, the book is a wonderful look into the art of the Street Fighter Movie. And while it is indeed mostly focused on Chun-Li is does go into other areas.
action figures Diaclone g.i.joe Machine Robo robotech Takara Transformers おもちゃ タカラ ダイアクロン トランスフォーマー マクロス ミクロマン Street Fighter マシンロボ
As years went on my collection of Street Fighter art books and comics grew and grew. I still need to track several books down that I've wanted. There's just something about this franchise that captured me early on and never let go. I'm glad though that my collecting has been pretty much limited to books, because I'd go broke trying to buy all the toys and figurines featuring SF characters.
As I moved in to the end of the 90's my focus remained on tracking down rare and hard to acquire books from Japan. Mostly books about toys and collecting. That mission has never actually ended, but let's just say it has been given less priority these days. And in doing less book buying, I have either been delayed in buying some books or missed them completely. One book I couldn't think I would miss, and should have bought intermediately was the Transformers Visualworks art book. The fact that it took me a few years after release to get that book is shameful given how much I admire the artists within in. When word that another art book on Transformers was coming I figured I'd better not wait quite as long this time and be forced to pay over cover price.
action figures Diaclone g.i.joe Machine Robo robotech Takara Transformers おもちゃ タカラ ダイアクロン トランスフォーマー マクロス ミクロマン Street Fighter マシンロボ




action figures Diaclone g.i.joe Machine Robo robotech Takara Transformers おもちゃ タカラ ダイアクロン トランスフォーマー マクロス ミクロマン Street Fighter マシンロボ

Saturday, October 17, 2015

More New (Old) Toy Pics For October. (Transformers Beast Wars & Henshin Cyborg)

I've been slowly breaking into my new toys from last week, and also going through the stuff I don't want to keep. I figured I'd snap a few pics while I do it. Some of this won't be hanging around for long (I hope!), and I better record it's existence here while I can.

Beast Wars Candy Toys & More
Beast Wars Second Lio Convoy Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤBeast Wars Second Lio Convoy Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ
These are the types of toys that cling to me. I already put a few that were not supposed to stay in a "not for sale" pile. If I don't get rid of the rest of them soon, they will start to wear me down and longer they stick around the less likely I will be able to sell them off. And they need to be sold off.
G2 Jets Beast Wars Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤBeast Wars Second Lio Convoy Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ
Beast Wars Second Lio Convoy Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤG2 Jets Beast Wars Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ

Transformers Kiss Player & Re-issue Cassettes
G1 reissues Encore vintage Car Robots Takara Toys Transformers Kiss Player Cassettes トランスフォーマー タカラ
I have been itching to get a lot of these "Neo G1" cassettes since they've been out. I just seriously dragged my feet and the price then kept me from pursuing them. The prices have remained relatively high. But they could very well get worse, so it's time.
G1 reissues Encore vintage Car Robots Takara Toys Transformers Kiss Player Cassettes トランスフォーマー タカラG1 reissues Encore vintage Car Robots Takara Toys Transformers Kiss Player Cassettes トランスフォーマー タカラ
These two above were probably the ones I wanted the most of the new Takara original colors. I'm pretty sure. It's always so hard to say for sure since the cassettes are all such fantastic toys. And at first it was Glit that I really wanted the Kiss Player Cassettrons box set for. If I could afford it, I would be happy buying a new batch of cassettes each season if Takara put them out.
Glit Ravage G1 reissues Encore vintage Car Robots Takara Toys Transformers Kiss Player Cassettes トランスフォーマー タカラ

Neo Henshin Cyborg
Takara Henshin Cyborg Waldar Microman ミクロマン ダイアクロン Denys Fisher Neo robot Transformers 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラTakara Henshin Cyborg Waldar Microman ミクロマン ダイアクロン Denys Fisher Neo robot Transformers 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラ
I've barely scratched the surface on the fun I'll have with these toys. I only managed to pull 3 of the 7 I have for myself out of their boxes. When I finally get a good photo shoot area set-up it's gonna be hours and hours of Cyborg picture mayhem. Pretty excited.
Takara Henshin Cyborg Waldar Microman ミクロマン ダイアクロン Denys Fisher Neo robot Transformers 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラTakara Henshin Cyborg Waldar Microman ミクロマン ダイアクロン Denys Fisher Neo robot Transformers 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラ




Candy Toys CG Robo Henshin Cyborg Macross Robotech Transformers Beast Wars 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ マクロス マシンロボ Machine Robo

Friday, October 16, 2015

New Imaginext DC Red Robin Man-Bat & Thunder Punch He-Man...err Batman

It's not often I get to find new Imaginext stuff at a fairly early point their release. It took my 6 months before I was able to pick up a Imaginext Justice League Nightwing/Slade pack. I still haven't found a single pack Grundy. So I was extremely pleased to find 3 of the newest DC Super Friends figures sitting on the pegs at my local Target yesterday. Not so happy to see me find these figures were the managers at said Target.
Super Friends Red Robin Man-Bat Thunder Punch Batman action figures comics dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes batman バットマン おもちゃ イマジネックスト アメコミ
 These are the normal DC Suer Friends assortment, so no store exclusivity here, that means they should be far easier to find than other figures. Like Slade/Deathstroke. Grrr. That doesn't mean you won't still have trouble, either in finding them or buying them. I'll tackle that at the end. My store had Red Robin, Man-Bat and Thunder Punch Batman. The last one I can't seem to keep from calling Thunder Punch He-Man. The Superman & Metallo 2 pack wasn't on the shelves and either sold or wasn't stocked with the others.
Super Friends Red Robin Man-Bat Thunder Punch Batman action figures comics dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes batman バットマン おもちゃ イマジネックスト アメコミ
 The cardback on the Thunder Punch Batman features a slightly tweaked design. Instead of the small halftone pattern behind the pictures of the other toys is a image of the Hall of Justice. They also have a blurb about the Imaginext DC webisodes that have been streaming online. Nice to see those getting cross-promoted.
Super Friends Red Robin Man-Bat Thunder Punch Batman action figures comics dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes batman バットマン おもちゃ イマジネックスト アメコミ
 We get a shot of another new toy coming, a Battle Armor Superman. Sure as adult collectors we think it's useless, why would Supes need armor to fly? Well, he doesn't, but kids can play however they want with it. And will. New DC Super Friends logo is also present on the front of the cards along with the new Batman icon.
Super Friends Red Robin dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes イマジネックスト アメコミSuper Friends Man Bat dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes イマジネックスト アメコミ
 So as for the figures, I like them all. I'm not familiar with the Red Robin character, but it's a nice design. The wing backpack is a nice touch as well. The paint apps on this figures, as well as the Batman leave something to be desired though. The Man-Bat continues i the tradition of over-sized villain figures. I would love to see an over-sized hero soon, Apache Chief maybe? Please FP!
Super Friends Thunder Punch Batman dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes バットマン イマジネックスト アメコミSuper Friends Thunder Punch Batman dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes バットマン イマジネックスト アメコミ
 Surprising, my favorite of this batch is the Thunder Punch Batman. Yeah, really. I am loving this new figure design for Batman, much better than the last one. And there's still another new one coming with the Hall of Justice right? Have to double check that. But this Batman is very cool, and really does bear a resemblance to the Batman suit we've seen in the Dawn of Justice trailers. Like the last Batman single release, this figure comes with a nice translucent body armor piece. He also has a rocket firing launcher and a ginormous punching fist. The fist is silly as hell, but just keeps me thinking why are we not seeing an Imaginext Master of the Universe line? This i s a perfect Fisto weapon. Some day Fisher-Price will realize that it's an absolute no-brainer to re-launch He-Man in stores under Imaginext.
The problem that seems to arise each time Fisher-Price inserts new figures into assortments is that Target doesn't update their system to read the new figures. Target uses a very lazy inventory method in where all figures of an assortment at times share the same system code. And this can carry over multiple assortments meaning that a figure you bought last year could in fact scan the same as figure you bought last week. But each new figure has to have it's specific product code entered in under Target's own coding system, and they seem to have a difficult time doing this.

The cashier at my store attempted to scan the figures, and of course they didn't. I just mentioned they were new, and probably not int he system. I told her they were $7.19, the price of the normal DC assortment. She had already turned her "help" light on when she was going to just go ahead and enter the $7 price in for each. Of course before she could enter the price a line manager stepped in and took the figures away saying they were not sold at Target and that they would have to take them off the floor. So at this point my "are you fucking kidding me" face was already showing. The cashier turns to me and says "uhm what does she mean we don't sell them, who put them on our shelf then?" which was funny. I go to the line manager and tell her they do sell these, and that they are just new and probably not in their system yet. I repeat the price and she seems to be ignoring me while she goes to call another manager over. The 2 of them then spent the next 12 minutes looking things up on a computer before coming over to reiterate that they don't sell these toys, but they were able to price them to sell anyway. Ok, whatever. I look at the price tags which read "AS-IS" with original prices of $9.99 and $7.99 with now discounted prices of $5.56 and $6.96. Oh, and the receipt states they are LEGO toys. So in the end I got the toys under the price I had told them to sell to me. Great for me, but stupid on on Target's part.

I'll just end with this:

TARGET GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!

And thank for not trusting me that your toys are priced at $7.19 each and insisting I give you less money.



action figures comics dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext super heroes batman バットマン おもちゃ イマジネックスト アメコミ

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Thing$ I've $old: Movie Collectibles (Dragonball Z Transformers)


I'll be honest, this TTIS post won't leave you shaking in jealously. But, that's not to say it's so boring and lacking that you need to shut the window and stop reading. I've sold some cool toys in the last 25 years, these just aren't those. Next time maybe.

In the mid-90's I worked at Suncoast video, you may recall the store. It's of course gone now, cheaper pricing from online vendors did stores like this in. But Suncoast and their like had their time, and it was fun while it lasted. At least I had fun, most of my time was spent watching videos. I can't tell you how many times i got paid to watch the Transformers movie or Grease. And aside from getting paid to watch movies I also got to take home various displays and promo bits. Some of the stuff I took was cool, and I actually displayed it for a time. Loved getting release posters for free. Other thing I grabbed just for the sake of maybe selling off. That's what I'll focus on here.

It was always a crap shoot as to what would sell or not. Any type of promo or release poster would sell instantly, people always wanted those. Video display headers also sold pretty well. These were the roughly 18x18 inch cardboard pieces that would attach to video display stands. Many time they went unused and I would grab the visual out of the box before throwing the rest away. I found that even the shittiest movie had some folks who clamored for anything related to it.
1990's, Collectibles, hasbro, Movies, TIS, Transformers, トランスフォーマー, manga, anime, Dragonball Z,
As popular as movie memorabilia was, when anime really started to go more mainstream it became far easier to sell off any promo pieces associated with it. I guess because it was still so hard to get a lot of things in the States, but I did much better selling off posters, seri-cels and displays for anime releases than the movie and t.v. ones. One of the last bits of promo product I was able to get also turned out to be the single most popular item I picked up from Suncoast.
1990's, Collectibles, hasbro, Movies, TIS, Transformers, トランスフォーマー 1986 optimus Prime animated movie
When Rhino acquired the rights to release the Transformers Movie they had a pre-sell promo item exclusive to Suncoast. If you put in and paid for a pre-order of the VHS you go a "Classic Collectible Card" free. The card wasn't much of anything. Made of clear plastic and color printed to mimic a frame of film, and featuring Prime just as he was about to deliver one final blow to Megatron. You know, before that dickwad Hot Rod showed up. Sadly, our store had about 6 or 7 sign-ups and so we had a bunch of these cards left over. O.k., sad for our store but super awesome for me because I took the rest of the pack home. I sold some of these on ebay, gave some to friends. I even sent some to collectors in Japan and sold a few of my remaining cards on Yahoo Japan Auctions when that started up. These lasted me a few years, but never seemed to fall short on finding people interested in one. And yet we literally couldn't give them away at Suncoast. Well, give them away after a $12 purchase.




1990's Collectibles Movies Things I Sold hasbro Transformers トランスフォーマー

Sunday, October 4, 2015

New (Old) Toy Day: Macross, Transformers, Henshin Cyborg & More

While I have 7 other unfinished blog posts sitting in drafts that I was trying to wrap up yesterday I got a giant box in from Japan full of awesome. Needless to say the toys took priority. Of course.
 This is one of the largest boxes I've gotten in some time. Years actually. It's almost 2 feet by 3 feet and just over a foot deep. I was a bit surprised at the size of the box since I knew what was in it wasn't all that large. It weighed a bit more than I expected too. The postal carrier brought it all the way up to my apartment without even ringing the buzzer. I did let her know I would have gladly came down to get it, but she said it wasn't a big deal and she was just glad I was in so she didn't have to lug back downstairs.
Takara Henshin Cyborg Waldar Microman Denys Fisher Neo robot Transformers 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラ
 As I opened the box I started to see the reasons why it not only weighed more than it should but also why such a large box was needed. It was stuffed with at least 4 or 5 full newspapers. Pick up a stack of 5 newspaper, not exactly light. Then I see everything wrapped with bubble wrap, which makes the newspaper kind of unnecessary. The last bubble wrapped item I pulled out turned out to be a wrapped pouch of wrapped items. It took me2 hours to unwrap each item inside. About 56 bubble wrapped bits mostly containing a single item, some with 2. It was a little insane. And given that some of these items are either broken or missing parts I just don't see that it was needed. Of course, had it been the other way around and they didn't wrap and protect something that was expensive and fragile I'd be having a fit right now. I just passed the 3 hours listening to some music and working away.
Takara Henshin Cyborg Waldar Microman Denys Fisher Neo robot Transformers 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラ
You can see the 75-80 little figures  had to unwrap here. It's mostly Beast Wars candy toys from 1997-99. There's a few other bits in there and I get into them later. Mmoving on to cooler things and what took half the box up, a lot of 13 Takara Neo Henshin Cyborg figures.

(Neo) Henshin Cyborg
Takara Henshin Cyborg Waldar Microman Denys Fisher Neo robot Transformers 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラ
I bought a lot of 12 Henshin Cyborg toys and also won a single figure auction for a blue Cyborg. The blue Henshin Cyborg has been on my most wanted list for some time, I just never committed to buying on. The lot gives me 6 different colored Cyborg bodies out of the 12 figures. There's also a few A & B sets which contain similar color bodies but different accessories. I also have a couple duplicates. A couple of the highlights in the set are the Toys R Us exclusive copper body with Geoffrey Giraffe themed helmet, the Hyper Hobby exclusive all clear body Stealth Cyborg. Before these arrived I had only 1 Henshin Cyborg toy from my 2nd trip to Japan. I've always wanted more, so to have this many now makes me a bit excited. I was supposed to sell off all the doubles so I don't know what I'll do now. There is a red body Cyborg I still want so maybe I could trade. I thought about giving one to me nephew, and telling him it's the Transformers' Grandpa. But not sure this is a toy for a 4 year old.

 CG Robo (Machne Robo)
Gobots Bandai Go Bots Japan Robo Machines Japanese Toys CG Robo Henshin マシンロボ Machine Robo
I thought I knew what I was getting when I won this lot. The seller barely had a description for these, and the pictures sucked as usual. I knew the CG 01 was a gold prize toy,maybe the most well known of the CG Robo campaign toys. I originally thought I could even bid a bit higher than I normally would and then sell off the CG-02 and CG-03 toys. When I opened them up from the shipping box I noticed the are labeled "SAMPLE" and could very well be Bandai production test pieces. So now like with all my extra Henshin Cyborgs, I'm not sure what to do. I'll have to break out my other CG-02 and CG-03 toys and compare them for any differences before I decide on anything.

 Macross, Sentai & Transformers
Macross Robotech Kiss Players cassttes Takatoku Sentai Power Rangers Transformers トランスフォーマー タカラ マクロス
I finally have the Takatoku Macross Conversion Kit! Yay!! I've wanted one of these for a long time. I just didn't want to pay a crazy auction price. What I paid was extremely reasonable, but it included the 3 Macross models on the right. As cute as these look, I have no desire to build them or even keep them. I suppose if I can sell the off that will make the Conversion Kit's price even better.

Also grouped in here is a Super Sentai Fiveman Super Fighting Pose Figure of Five Red. These are the same style of figure Bandai initially released in America's Power Rangers series in 1993. I have had a couple other Japanese series figures, but never one mint in box. The end price on the auction for this guy was 11yen. Glorious. With fees and shipping and such it came to about $14.

The last thing here is the Transformers Kiss Players Position set of Cassettrons. I've wanted this since it was first announced, but had no interest in Kiss Players as a whole. As time went on the price kinda got out of my desired range and I gave up on it. On a search expedition on YJA I found a seller who had not only put one up in a bad section, but then didn't even list it as a Transformer. The set is mint in box unused, but missing the booklet. Again got it super cheap, for about the price 1 of the cassettes goes for on Ebay loose. So don't care about missing a booklet.

Transformers & Beast Wars Candy Toys
Beast Wars Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ
All the following items, and everything you see in the lot pic at the the top of this post is from a single auction. I bid on the lot for basically the 2 figures you see directly above here, Flip Sides and Indy Heat. Having the KP Rosanna bought already I figured I'd like to get Flip Sides as well. But buying yet another Twincast reissue at $70-$100 wasn't really sounding great tome. Luckily this lot popped up, and I grabbed it. I already have Skid-Z floating around somewhere, but I'm happy to get the original as well.
G2 Jets Beast Wars Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ
In the lot were a few Transformers G2 Cyberjets as well. All missing weapons but in really nice shape. I started playing around with them a bit since I haven't really handled any G2 Cyberjets in like 13 years. I always wondered why Hasbro didn't adopt the switch around feature that Takara did. It's fun to swap the parts out on these guys. And the light piping is always so awesome.
Optimus Primal Megatron Beast Wars Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ
Lots of candy toys in this auction win. Lots. Most I've owned some time ago, and some I haven't owned but wanted. This is troubling because I really wanted to get rid of a large part of the shipment of toys and slowly I'm buckling on that plan.
Beast Wars Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ
Not only are these like small decoy figures and keshii which I love, they're all clear! If they had been opaque yellow or green I'd have been able to pass. But these are damn cool looking, and I've never had these before.
Beast Wars Car Robots Takara Kabaya Candy Toys Transformers Beast Wars トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ
The rest of the lot contain a few nice gems like the Beast Wars Second clear blue figures, and some SD guys. There's also a Beast Wars Metals candy toy of Silverbolt which bares a striking resemblance or homage to Henshin Cyborg. Even missing a piece this BW2 Galvatron change kit figure looks both menacing and amazing. Love the colors here. And then there's a few turds that I had to show just to let it be known that not everything I got was great.

Overall pretty fun box of stuff. Leaves me with quite a few questions as to what to do with it all. I shouldn't keep what I didn't want, I don't have the space to just keep collecting anything and everything. Huh, collector's problems.


Candy Toys CG Robo Henshin Cyborg Macross Robotech Transformers Beast Wars 変身サイボーグ トランスフォーマー タカラ カバヤ マクロス マシンロボ Machine Robo