Transformer Collecting For The Declutterer

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While failing to get caught up on my YouTube backlog I came upon a video by toy and media reviewer TJ Omega that got me thinking about collecting Transformers when space is an issue, given the current overflow of new Transformers toys. My current collection is probably only eclipsed by my comic and home video library…and I’m not even sure about the home videos. Being unemployed means I really haven’t had the chance to get more in years, and given the current space (or lack thereof) that may be for the best.

If you go to the store or a site like Amazon (there aren’t a lot of toy store options in the US and the toy section in regular department and clearance stores are disappearing faster than the department store) you’ll find not only mainline Transformers figures from Hasbro, already made up of multiple lines targeting kids and/or adult collectors, but licensed merchandise, home video releases of the show, collections of the comics, various types of prose books, and it seems the variations just keep on coming. Watch the video for yourself and see how far you get in all the different lines both transforming and statue that are coming out. Then return to reading as I have what I think is some good advice about how to balance collecting with de-cluttering while bringing up a few things not in the video.

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Book Report: The Unofficial Guide To Transformers (1980s-1990s)

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In this time of the internet I can easily go to a website like TFU.info and look up pictures of Transformers figures, with a list of all accessories, remolds, repaints, redecos, all official alternate modes, and name reuses. Back in 1999 this was not the case. The internet was just getting started in the public sector, storage and bandwidth were smaller, and the web site design software was still rather privative compared to today.

So Transformers fan J.E. Alvarez got together with some fellow collectors to create The Unofficial Guide to Transformers: 1980s Through 1990s, a collection of photos and trivia published by Schiffer Publishing. Alvarez had previously worked with them on a similar book on action figures. The book goes through the history of this toyline that managed to stick with adults as well as find a home with the new children that took their place. During the previous project I stumbled upon it and thought this might be a good book to review.

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Reorganizing The Bumblebee Shelf

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My latest addition and the review I did last week highlighted a problem with the infamous Bumblebee Shelf beyond not having the paint I want to redecorate it. I’m running out of space for it and it’s not a very exciting display. They’re just standing there like their having their driver’s license photo taken and I’m not sure you need a driver’s license when you are the car. This week, as I have the okay to start doing more I wanted to dust off and reorganize my Bumblebees to make room and to have a little bit of life to it…at least the ones with any decent form of articulation.

And yes, Scooter of the GoBots is there as well. I didn’t have anywhere else to put him as he kept falling over on my computer desk and I like to pretend Scooter and Bumblebee are best buddies. In this space the Autobots and Guardians get along.

So take a trip with me through the Bumblebees, including the ones I haven’t reviewed on this site before.

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Transformers Report: Buzzworthy Bumblebee Origin

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In the first episode of the original Transformers cartoon, we get to see Cybertron, including some of the Transformers in Cybertronian mode. However, not all of them were so rather than design new robot modes that looked like they turned into Cybertronian rather than Earth vehicles (not that the show’s designs really matched the toys that well in the first place) they just used the same old robot character models. This includes Bumblebee above. Dreamwave comics and a fan convention toy did attempt to give Bumblebee a design based on his Cybertronian mode, but no toy tried to make his Cybertronian vehicle turn into his Earth robot design. Until now.

Target stores in the US have released an exclusive line called Buzzworthy Bumblebee, a set of new and remolded/redecoed toys based on the greatest Autobot of them all! Granted, longtime readers know I’m so heavily biased that I have a shelf dedicated to Bumblebee, so your mileage may vary. With still no income and recent purchase needs draining my stimulus checks (at least they came at the right time for me…just wish I could replace some of those funds (he said while pointing to the Clutter For Sale section)) I’m not making an effort to get as much from that collection as I would like, but with all the medical issues this year, including the surgery and later kidney stone that caused the latest hiatus, I think I earned both a pity Transformer and finally getting to see Transformers: The Movie on the big screen after 35 years. So both have occurred. The movie I’ve seen so many times that it was more a bucket list since some of the excitement is gone. Still enjoyed it.

Meanwhile, one of the original molds for Buzzworthy Bumblebee is an attempt to reconcile his cartoon model’s robot and Cybertronian vehicle modes. It’s not perfect and I’d be surprised if it would have come out clean, but it’s still not a bad job.

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GoBots Toy Review: Crasher

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Well, I didn’t get a chance to pick up what I wanted to. For some reason I was tired all week and one night I didn’t sleep well. We’ll see what happens in the next week or two but for now I said I would review something so review something I shall. I’ve noticed that there are really long stretches between reviews of my GoBots (while my Transformers get reviewed in batches) and that I haven’t reviewed any of the bad guy GoBots (also I’ve only reviewed two GoBots) so this time I broke out Crasher, one of Cy-Kill’s top agents.

The backstory of the GoBots is that they are humans turned into robots to save themselves from a major catastrophe or in the original promo booklet just to replace “worn out parts of their body” but I like the cartoon version better. The cartoon, Challenge Of The GoBots, took the opportunity to add female characters to the heroes, which as a race of former humans made sense whatever your opinion of Transformers having genders are. Since Crasher wasn’t in the promo booklet there was no assigned gender so she became a she. Others would appear in the pilot miniseries like Pathfinder, and would later include more on both sides, but that may not have been the intention for the original Machine Robo figure or what Tonka was thinking, since this was a toyline for boys. So give Hanna-Barbera credit for that.

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Quick Report: Listing Comics For Sale

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I’m not going to get rid of the comics unless I can sell them off. So this week I started listing comics on the Clutter For Sale section’s comic page. I actually had a few up there I didn’t realize I had already priced. I was going with the “new comic every day” plan but this week had numerous stop gaps and while I tried I fell a bit short. So yesterday I popped a whole bunch on there. Apparently I also need to add to the books for sale section and I though I had gotten them all. I must have lost some when I reorganized the section so I’ll have to fix that.

I’m actually low on long-term projects. The comics I do almost every day as far as going over them. The books I only get to read a chapter a week. The Transformers reviews may bring bonus traffic to the site (now that one I have completed of the ones I’ve gone over) but that’s not the mission of the site and it’s not like I couldn’t organize better. Plus I’d like to sell some of the ones already on the toy page before building that pile any further. And I just noticed one figure I didn’t list like a dummy so I need to fix that.

Now I have to see what the new computer can run software wise and what I actually need. That’ll be “fun”. The real clutter is my schedule. This is what I need to work on the most as far as getting my life back on track but that’s actually harder than you think. I’m also taking on another video project that requires specific artwork. Timing is probably my biggest barrier for anything. That and figuring out how to get rid of stuff I can’t just throw away. The work goes on. Advice is welcome.

Comics & Cardbacks: An Actual Cleaning Project

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Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve actually done one of these, hasn’t it? Between computer issues and time I haven’t been able to work on a day-long anti-clutter project. So this week I was lucky to actually be able to work on one. At issue was the set of cardbacks left over from a previous organizing project. I cleaned out the folder box but there was another set of these and I thought I’d go over them at the same time. Then the delays happened. No delays this week.

You’re probably wondering why I save cardbacks from the various Transformers figures. Perhaps you don’t remember the days of tech specs on Transformers figures, something that’s fallen out of fashion for various reasons. One of them was the need for multi-language packaging at one point. When that ended they never really went back to the old spec cards, something you’d clip off of the back of the packaging. These would include the character’s personalities and stats. While Hasbro has included this in packaging the old tech specs remained at a set size (sometimes reduced for smaller figures) but that doesn’t exist anymore. It had been a goal of mine to create new tech spec designs, but with the internet serving as a way to find examples and information I don’t really have to have this big pile of cardboard. So this week I planned to cut that down a little.

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Transformers Report: Air Attack Optimus Primal

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It’s the last Transformer in the Universe box and the other one that isn’t from the first Transformers Universe line. It’s not even from the line it was created for. I’ll get into it when I start reviewing actual Beast Machines toys but the short version is fans wanted a show-accurate Optimus Primal and the first two toys they released did not suffice. Air Attack Optimus Primal was the final depiction of Primal from that series and improved on the show accurate depiction. However it was not released in the Beast Machines line but the first Robots In Disguise line, and even then as a Toys R Us exclusive. I do now know why, but that’s how it happened. When my collection was smaller and I had more money I really wanted him, but it didn’t seem a good fit for the other RID figures, or even the Beast Machines figures because this sucker is rather huge. Not as huge as “supreme” Cheetor from Beast Machines (which I do not have and I don’t mind because I hear few good things about it) but a bit larger than he needed to be.

Also the toy has plenty of sound effects, including voice clips from Garry Chalk, the voice of Optimus Primal. This is rather unusual for toys, with the voices provided by cheaper voice actors. You’ll have to look up some video reviews to hear them all. I couldn’t find a video of just the voices and sounds, which is fine because I don’t have the batteries in to review that anyway. Instead this is just about the toy itself.

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Transformers Report: Collector’s Club Skyfall

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When Hasbro launched the Official Transformers Collectors Club with Fun Publications I decided to join. At the time I had decent income and thought it would be worth the money. It kind of wasn’t. For your fee (I forget what it was at the time) you got a newsletter that featured information you already heard elsewhere online and only have a few pages of a long comic, a free toy that was a remold of another toy, a card with a bio of the character, access to the forum, and not much else. In the future discounts on club items and more free stories would come around but I don’t think it was worth the money.

Since I joined that first year I picked up the first year figure, Skyfall…who came with instructions for Terradive, one of the Energon Combiner figures his mold was made from. I’ll get more into all that when I finally go through the Energon toys, but for Skyfall, he’s part of a Combiner called Nexus Prime, formerly Nexus Maximus until someone found out he shared the name with an…adult toy that didn’t have a robot mode and probably had more female users. That’s all I’m saying about that. The other figures seen above were released in the following years and all were remolds of various Combiner figures from Energon. The two links in this paragraph will give you the important backstory if you so care, as it’s time to look at the toy itself. While not a Universe figure it’s where I put the other multiversal redecos so why not him? I don’t have any other Collector’s Club figures after all so where else would i put him?

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Transformers Report: Universe King Atlas

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This is the last and biggest of my Transformers Universe figures but not the last one in the box. I’ll explain when I get to the last two of this review set. King Atlas has some interesting history attached, but I’ll summarize for those of you not really into Transformer history. The links in the next paragraph go to the Transformers wiki if you want to know more.

King Atlas is the second recolor of G1 UK exclusive Decepticon Skyquake, later redone for the US KB Toy Works exclusive Machine Wars line as a new body for Starscream, which means this is the only Autobot version of the mold. I never had the figures from either of these groupings. The name comes from the Japanese exclusive character Dai Atlas from Transformers Zone but while intended to be the US version of that character the Universe line came out with no bios (tech specs were pretty much gone by this point due to international packaging holding English, Spanish, and French text) and the convention comics made him a new character for the Transformers Universe comics. As for the toy itself, there’s a lot to go over but it’s all in vehicle mode.

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