Transformers Report: Classics Optimus Prime

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Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Transformers Classics was an attempt to bring the classic “G1” character into the modern age with updated versions of their classic alternate modes. For example, you’ve probably seen Bumblebee’s Classics form sitting on the Bumblebee shelf in the past. Instead of his classic VW Beetle form he got a more updated compact car mode, mainly due to Volkswagen not wanting to be tied to war toys. Others were given a modern model of the vehicle they were originally based on. To grab names at random, if a car had been a 1980s Ford Taurus or something, this would be a 2008 Taurus. Note that I don’t know if they even made the Ford Taurus in the 1980s. I’m just giving a hypothetical example here.

One of those toys was an update of…naturally, the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. (And yes, they did have a Megatron but thanks to modern restrictions on toy guns they made him more like a Nerf weapon than his traditional handgun.) Originally a red flat-nosed semi, Michael Bay gave him a long-nose blue semi with flames because he thought it looked cool. But what does a proper Optimus Prime update look like?

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More Dusting, More Organizing

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I had to finish up the dusting I didn’t finish two weeks ago, and that included the dresser. Dusting the dresser is my opportunity to reorganize the darn thing. This image is from the last time I dusted the dresser, which was a long time ago. For some reason this always gets messy even when I declutter until I dust. I put a few things in different spots and it’s a better looking dresser top.

 

But reorganizing the dresser top got me thinking about the top of my computer desk as well. The little Iron Man figures (which I’ve reviewed) keep falling over even though they’re on little stands, and you can’t tell in this picture but the Donatellos were getting in the way of setting things back up. Also, Scooter’s knees are weak and he has a tendency to fall on his back. So I kept the Silver Centurion Iron Man (although not the cards or even the stands) and put the rest away with the Donatellos. Right now it’s just Silver Centurion, Super Clown, the ships, the Digimon, and VINcent fromĀ The Black Hole, and it looks much better. I want to get in the habit of rotating the displays, maybe just leaving the spaceships and changing everything else around whenever I dust, so it looks different every time and adds some variety.

I may do some more spot-cleaning projects before the next Transformers review set. It all depends on what time allows.

Another Missed Week

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I’m beginning to notice that the past few starts of the month have thrown something else at my various projects. Of course a big article series that is bigger than I expected has been an issue, but the week I go grocery shopping with my dad (because we need to eat) also brings a bonus surprise my way. Like this week on Thursday we were waiting around for some people and it delayed us enough that not only did we wait a day to go shopping but I didn’t get anything done because we didn’t know when they’d show up. The end result is I didn’t get any clutter cleaning done this week because I didn’t get much of anything done.

The worrisome part is I’m worried I’m making excuses. I know there are things you can’t help and I’ve discussed that before but after last year’s medical problems I’m so far behind in where I want to be with this project by now that any delay that causes me to do nothing on it during the week is annoying to me. I need to get into a proper working rhythm so I’ll be better prepared. I mean, I had a weekday job when I started this project and didn’t have nearly the amount of delays I’ve had this year alone. (Last year was a special case.) Now I’m looking for work, or some kind of legal and moral income at least, writing fewer articles on the other site, and I’m still losing time somewhere. All I can do for now is press on and get myself back to where I was and get everything I want done. I’m just getting frustrated at posting delays instead of results. Not all clutter is physical.

Dusting Day

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All together now!

Technically another quick project. After last week’s review of Alternity Bumblebee I went to prep the Bumblebee Shelf (I still really want to paint this thing yellow with some black trim) and noticed it was rather dusty. So this week I dusted it prior to resetting the Shelf to bring in the new Bumblebee. (This is an old picture. He’s not there.) And since I dusted that I thought I would dust my whole bedroom, because it needed it. It’s sad how much dust was on the Zoids alone. I think I did dust since last year’s hospital stays but it still built up. I also know I dusted in the studio during an earlier organizing project but it could use a light dusting as well.

It also reminds me how badly I need to go through my old Transformers, since I have so many stacked in boxes that (a) I can’t reach part of my non-Bumblebee shelves and get to stuff even to dust them, and (b) what’s the sense of collecting things if they’re going to stay in a plastic tub where nobody will see them because the spot you’d set them up to pose is cluttered but you can’t do anything about it? Even the Bumblebee Shelf is starting to get crowded and there are a few Bumblebees I’d still like to get, like Masterpiece and something representing the current incarnation of Robots In Disguise. Plus there’s a version for Titans Return that looks pretty cool and they didn’t make him a “Titanmaster” (formerly Headmaster, of which not every character has to be–no love for Targetmasters?) which makes him even better for this line.

I did manage to sell off my Marvel Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics and learned a few things about PayPal, like there are fees, as well as double-checking the price of comics. They could go for a lot more than I sold them for, but there were various reasons why I took the hit and I’m not sorry. Unless he ends up selling them himself, but it’s still a lesson learned when it comes to my other comics to not just look at price guide sites and see what they’re actually going for. An important lesson although with my luck the other comics I’m getting rid of won’t be worth as much as those. I have that kind of luck.

Transformers Report: Alternity Bumble(bee)

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The original Bumblebee from the “G1” era of Transformers was called simply Bumble in Japan for reasons I am not aware of. So while technically this is a Japan exclusive figure I’m going to stick with Bumblebee because that’s the name I know and love. You may recall I have a whole shelf dedicated to this character and a few namesakes. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that another one was in my birthday Amazon wish list.

The history of Takara Tomy’s Alternity is tough to go into full detail for so I’ll give you the highlights. Did you ever hear of the Alternators line? It was a series of scaled vehicles that looked like model cars right down to being licensed with an engineering style that led to crazy hard transformations. I own a few and frankly wasn’t a fan because they’re such pains to transform. I know there are collectors who enjoy these puzzle style transformations but I prefer a smooth, fun transformation. In Japan the line was called “Binaltech” and the instructions actually came with chapters of a text adventure whose story isn’t important here. Alternity is a sequel line right down to the engineering and story, but the toys were given a smaller scale and the story a larger one, involving alternate universes, and Bumblebee getting cool dimension-altering powers. To say more would bore the casuals so let’s move on.

To be honest this toy is rather pricey but it’s partly die-cast, highly engineered (more so than Transformers figures usually are), has a lot of parts put together, features licensed vehicles, and is a canceled Japan-exclusive toyline. That last part dropped the price to something slightly more reasonable than you’d pay for it previously here in the US. So let’s take a look at the toy.

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Quick Report: A Different Party Aftermath

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As readers who have been here since last year know I had a lot of medical problems throughout 2016. I won’t go into further detail, I’ve already explained that enough and that’s what archives are for. These past two weeks are the first major parties I’ve been to since my insides were all reconnected and functioning properly. They kind of wore me out, so when I came home from them back-up clothes (in case it got warmer) ended up on the couch piece in my room along with clothes I brought up the next day from the wash. So this week I finally hung them up.

Additionally that vaporizer you see just in the corner of the picture there was finally cleaned out since I don’t need it for a while and it’s just taking up space in the room. I actually haven’t packed that up since I took it out in 2015 just before I got sick, since by the time I was well enough to actually do something with it, I needed it again. Since this is now Summer and I don’t need it I finally cleaned it out until I need it again this Winter. So that’s all to report this week. I still have a few big projects on the board I need to deal with so I may tackle one of those next week.

There’s only four left, but I’m leaving the file organizing up there mostly to remind myself when the new year starts. However, I do have some other files that could use some looking through so I might look into that. Also there’s another family party and a doctor visit in my future so we’ll see what I even get to do this weekend. Either way, the battle continues.

No project this week

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Due to a family event I didn’t get any clutter cleaning in this week. I had hoped to pack away my remaining Mini-Cons to refresh my display, but I ran into a problem. Remember when I talked about my comics being all over the place? Well, this is true for my Transformers and my instructions. Near the end of my collecting this got disorganized as well. Even a few Mini-Cons aren’t with their package partner, meaning I have some hunting to do. But family comes first, which is how life should be. And I have another next weekend so we’ll see if I have a report or not for you next week. I can’t afford too many breaks to get this project…well close to finished, since maintaining the mess and collections is neverending…which is how I got into this mess in the first place. The mission continues.

Quick Project: Shredding Day!

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You can just barely see in the corner of the picture a cardboard box. Until yesterday this was part of my cleaning process. I had amassed a lot of bills and junk mail and after one of the cleaning project I put stuff in there to be shredded. And promptly forgot to bring them downstairs to be shredded. Over time it kind of piled up and while I was willing to bring a little down at a time, my dad said I should bring the whole thing down so we could go over it. This “quick” project took all afternoon.

However, that’s one pile of papers tossed out or shredded. Now the goal is to not let the pile get that high again. I should read the mail downstairs when I get it and toss out or shred where appropriate rather than bringing it upstairs to read later and never getting around to it. And that’s what I intend to do. I don’t want a pile like this again. Now I just have all of that other reading to do, and other projects to handle. Does this project ever end?

Opening More Closet Space

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First order of business: as of this writing I’ve started restructuring the “clutter for sale” page into a section. Currently I’ve moved the comics and toys to their own pages, and will be working to further clean things up and redo the main sale page to reflect it. I’m hoping to do that during the week.

Next up: So remember that record case my dad bought? Well, he moved all the records he had downstairs to the case, but there were more in the spare room closet, the room that is slowly becoming my multimedia studio. As we were pulling them out he saw all the other cases, most of which was more stuff my late mother had bought and forgot were up here (and at times so did I). My dad moved them elsewhere, where we will have to go over them someday. But now what do I do with that space?

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The Case For Analog Music Storage

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Old Congolese 78 rpm records, being the three ...

Old Congolese 78 rpm records, being the three on the lower left examples of Ngoma discs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tough title to come up with. Thanks to an allergy attack knocking me out for a few days (maybe I should wear a mask when I go out shopping until allergy season is over?) I didn’t get any of my own clutter clearing done. My dad got lucky though. On the aforementioned shopping trip we stopped in at a Goodwill store because he had store credit and needed to use it up before it expired. I got a nice jacket (I still need something more like a windbreaker but I haven’t worn it out yet so it might still be good) but my dad picked up something he’s been looking for since he picked up a new record player, namely a case to put their old records in.

My generation still had vinyl records but we were making the transition to cassette tapes as the 8-track was already looking for a replacement, while the generation after me made the transition to CDs. The current generation has gone from the CD to MP3s downloaded off the internet and it looks like physical media is on the decline…he said not having actually checked sales figures. Now you can get your music any way you want. Vinyl records are actually making a comeback. CDs are still being made, although cassette tapes have gone the way of the 8-track and VHS tapes. Recording on magnetic tape is pretty much dead folks. Now it’s digital (CDs and MP3/i-Tunes) and I don’t see the magnetic tape following records in the retro game.

So what does this have to do with clutter you may ask? Well, it got me thinking of all the ways there are to convert previous formats to digital. We have another record player that can be used to convert records to MP3s, and I can hook a decent cassette recorder to the computer via a headphone to microphone wire. (8-track is still out of luck. I don’t even think you can buy a new machine that plays those and we still have a bunch left that will never be listened to again.) And I was thinking “could someone think that they could convert all their old records and cassettes to MP3 and convert CD files to MP3 and just put them on their player of choice, usually a cell phone or SD card, and then get rid of them in favor of the less space-taking SD cards and flash drives?” and then I thought about why that would be a bad idea, at least as a clutter removal project.

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