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About Me and Transformers

Transformers (TF for short) has already become one of popular cultures that I love. But I have a very long long history dealing with this franchise. I admit, TF wasn’t a significant part of my childhood at all. Back then, it was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (before understanding the existence of Super Sentai) that amazed me most. Beside that MMPR, I mostly enjoyed Kamen Rider Black (and RX), several tokusatsu series, anime, and several cartoons that aired on my local TV stations.

I have heard the name “Transformers”, but I didn’t know what it was other than an expensive toyline. My first encounter to TF franchise was when TF Generation 2 aired on both my local and Malaysian TV stations (complete with toy commercials) in 1995-1997. At that time, I thought G2 is the continuation and G1 existed as prequel and had different story. Although I did like the commercial, but I had no intention to buy the toys because that wasn’t my ideal type of toys since I was (and still is) influenced by Super Sentai. Still, TF is considered as super robot or mecha and I am myself is a mecha-fetish. Yeah, I never own original TF toys at all.

Speaking of G2 cartoon, I watched it every Sunday at 9 AM as part of Sunday morning cartoon marathon (I missed those days) in almost every TV stations here. At that time I was introduced to Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Rodimus Prime, Jazz, Prowl, Wheeljack and many more characters. Funny to thing back then that Rodimus Prime is Optimus’ successor and stayed somewhere else (I had no idea about TF Movie where Optimus died) while Optimus was in charge in another part of Earth. Silly childhood’s interpretation. I didn’t care about which episodes which, continuations, or anything, except watching another episode of TF and that’s about it.

Then, came Beast Wars Transformers and Beast Machines during my teenage days. I watched both series but I was too busy with my study. The only thing that I remember is Optimus Primal changed into Optimal Optimus. Several years passed and I heard live-action movie, I heard and watched TF Galaxy Force (Japanese original version of TF Cybertron), I knew there was TF Animated. Years passed but I just cared less about TF.

2011, my friends from Multiply decided to have gathering in Pondok Indah Mall and without a doubt I joined it. That was a fun experience because beside that gathering, I watched TF Dark of the Moon in 3D together with them. That was my first time watching 3D movie. After I watched it I ran into nearest toy store and bought Cyberverse DOTM Optimus Prime. Still, my interest in TF stayed the same. Cyberverse lineup did impressed me, but I still thought that TF toys were expensive for my budget.

DOTM also gave me a lot of impressions and I tried to respect the whole live-action movies, but failed. In my opinion, live action movie trilogy are nothing but explosion-vaganza. Characterizations are cheesy, lack of attentions to Transformers lifeform themselves, and overall designs are not that good compared to the past incarnations. For DOTM itself, missing Megan Fox from the story proved to be a major blow. And yes, I hate that Sam Witwicky (particularly Shia LeBouf) for every stupidities he had done.

And so, came TF Prime, a new television series in 2011. At first I cynically thought that TF Prime was Bayformers in form of TV series. I was wrong, TF is actually a good series, probably the best TF series ever made. It’s darker, serious, sarcastically humorous, and takes different approach from previous series. Not only TF Prime series that caught my attention, but the game Fall of Cybertron also hooked me to finally started collecting the toys. It was FoC Deluxe Optimus Prime that sparked my interest and shifting it from Gundam and particularly plastic model kit in general. Since then, lots and lots TF figures I bought and some of them are reviewed here.

After that, I read dozens of articles related to Transformers universes ranging from toylines (I got headache to realize about deco, redeco, repaints, etc), past movies and series, everything about Hasbro and Takara Tomy, and many more.

So, my favorite character from TF? It’s obviously the charismatic leader himself, Optimus Prime. I love this character since I watched him from G2 cartoon. Whatever Optimus Prime’s incarnations are, I just love them all. Most of my TF collections are Optimus Prime, from G1 until Beast Hunters. I guess I understand why I love this character. While my favorite characters from other pop cultures are mainly antagonist (Darth Vader, Gouki/Akuma, Evil Green Ranger, Raphael Sorel, etc), Optimus Prime is a very different case. He is in fact he is not only a role model for his integrity, passion, leadership, honor, or compassion. He is some kind of father figure to me. A figure I need to be. I understand I love this character even more today. I am not married yet but soon to, and somehow I repress my desire to be a “father” by channeling it to fictional characters, which is Optimus himself. A father figure is something that not only you idolize, but also you want yourself to be him by eliminating him (similar case to Macbeth from William Shakespeare eponymous play towards King Duncan). Maybe my love to Optimus Prime is my fear of not getting married yet. Who knows, this is just my speculative analysis though.

Enough with psychoanalysis, I appreciate TF toys not only as toys. They are pieces of art. A lineup of mechas that can be transformed into certain vehicles or animals? And also I love these toys better than Gundam because of less accessories given there. I hate hand compartment, weapons that can’t be stored, or needed stand base to be posed. But that doesn’t mean TF Toys are without problems. Several also has storage problems, poseability problems, and most of all, very very fragile. Luckily I just display all of them through my toys cabinet and that’s about it. I don’t play them much even I have problems now that not enough space left to store them all.

If there is one toy left for me to collect, that would be Masterpiece Optimus Prime. I hope I get this ridiculously expensive toy soon. Yes, this is the ultimate toy for TF fans. Maybe if finally I buy this toy, my journey in collecting TF will be completed.

That’s my story of me and Transformers, thank you for reading it.

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Top Ten 2012 Figure Highlights

2012, a year deserved to be highlighted. It is noticeable that my interest shifted from Gundam (or plastic model) into Transformers. I will highlight ten best figures I purchased during the year of 2012.

10. Candy Toys FFR Kamen Rider Decade and Diend

I was so lucky, my friend in Surabaya helped me to get these figures in his local toy store. CT version is much better than the normal one. The articulation is good and nice representation Kamen Riders in small size.

9. Animated Optimus Prime (both Voyager and Deluxe)

As Optimus-fetish collector, these two are hard to miss. Again, I am so lucky getting the Sons of Cybertron version in a very cheap price. The voyager also looks very well. Until now, I have no idea about Transformers Animated, but both of them already made me happy. You can check the review here: Animated Optimus Prime Comparison.

8. SD Wing Gundam Endless Waltz

I don’t remember if this one appeared in Endless Waltz OVA, even the design is far from this one. But this SD figure is very good. I love SD version better considering I am not really interested in MG counterpart.

7. EZ Collection TF Prime Autobot Set

Enough said, check the recently reviewed set here: EZ Collection TF Prime Autobot Set. My online seller helped me getting this set from Japan.

6. Hongli NG 1/100 00 Raiser

Surprisingly for a bootleg plastic model, he is far superior in articulation than MG version. He is so big and so bad. One of my earlier figure reviewed on my WordPress. Check it here: Hongli NG 1/100 00 Raiser.

5. WFC Cybertronian Optimus Prime and FoC Optimus Prime.

Aside from everything I said in the review, this Optimus Prime is much better than FoC version. But I can’t help to have both side by side because hey, they are from the same incarnation and I can’t ignore both of them. Check my review of both figures here:
WFC Cybertronian Optimus Prime
FoC Optimus Prime

4. SIC KT Kuuga Rising Ultimate

Yes, I already have this one, but still mint in box. As my habit to let all of my SIC KT collections in MIB condition, I don’t want to open this too. I hate Kuuga Rising Ultimate, a useless form upgrade seen in Decade’s movie. But the figure, is actually pretty cool. Very tempting for me to open it out of the box. The picture above taken from Hacchaka. Check his “so great” review here: SIC KT Kuuga Rising Ultimate.

3. DA-03 Voyager DOTM Optimus Prime

He is “are you nuts?” purchase I have done in 2012. Slightly retooled from Hasbro release and trailer included. No matter what, I am so happy to have this set. Check my review here: DA-03 Voyager DOTM Optimus Prime.

2. Minipla Gekitouja

I thought I never get this set forever, but again, the same person who helped me getting CT FFR Decade & Diend offered this set, which hard for me to resist. To make it even better, this set completed with RinLion and RinChameleon to create GekiRinTouja, one of the best mecha in Super Sentai history, ever!

1. DX Dino Megazord 2010

This is my long time wishlist. Together with minipla Gekitouja, I never thought I finally own this. I almost give up getting this figure because of expensive price and its rare status. Thank God, I found one seller on Facebook group, and without hesitation I bought this childhood memorabilia. Yes I know this is 2010, but I chose this over original DX figure since this is updated version. Check my review here: DX Dino Megazord 2010.

That’s my top ten figures of 2012. I have to admit that I was so lucky to have all figures I mention here, considering I will slowly reduced my collecting habit, starting to settle my future to have a family. But I hope everything continues well in 2013.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 TO YOU ALL!!!

Animated Optimus Prime Comparison

I bought both figures from the same incarnation but different in size class and editions. The figures that I compare here are Voyager Class and Deluxe Class from Sons of Cybertron edition (with translucent plastic). One thing to note that the voyager is made by Hasbro while the deluxe is made by Takara. Each has its own charm, but my taste prefer Voyager class merely from the size. But the translucent plastic also wins my heart a lot.

Vehicle mode of both figures are futuristic truck (or fire truck), and they are just cool. I particularly love voyager design more, but translucent plastic, again, win my heart a lot. Still, voyager is bulky (and that’s good) over empty backside and just an axe attached there. And the blaster from voyager class is actually a water-squirt gun. But I have tried it and failed. Oh well, a useless gimmick actually. Nobody wants to risk the figures by blasting water to them. And by the way, the smokestacks in deluxe are useless…

Both figures without weapon attachment. And I find deluxe figure is better in proportion. Just look at the placement of voyager’s front wheels. Weapon attachment makes such a huge difference.

Deluxe wins here. Just one single axe and that’s it. The axe from voyager is still good but not as good as the deluxe version. Translucent plastic also makes the axe far superior than voyager’s counterpart.

Tranformation-wise, both are easier. But the process is much simpler in voyager figure. If only without that stupid gimmick called auto gravitation spin in his torso then voyager can be better than deluxe figure. But the deluxe’s transformation is not as satisfying as voyager either. Yes, in my opinion voyager’s transformation is more fun.

I think voyager is show-accurate than deluxe one, and to be honest, voyager’s design in robot mode here is superior. The deluxe quite out of proportion this time in contrast to their vehicle modes.

One gimmick from voyager, you can choose either Optimus with mouth face or with mouthplate. And yes, he is much better with mouthplate. Still a nice addition to voyager. If only deluxe figure also have this gimmick because the mechanism is simple and technically can be applied too.

Although voyager is quite show-accurate, but deluxe class figure has better articulation ranges. The voyager’s axe looks bad and inferior compared with deluxe’s axe. They should release deluxe Optimus Prime with blaster to match his voyager counterpart. Luckily, the voyager blaster is compatible to be used with deluxe. On the other hand, and I find it strange, deluxe’s axe is not compatible with my voyager figure. I don’t know why, I have seen pictures of voyager animated Optimus Prime with deluxe’s axe. Well, that’s unfortunate…..

Both are great figures, and I am happy with both set. They are still a lot to be desired such as blaster for deluxe or better axe for voyager. They offer different gimmicks, each with their own charms. The designer of these figures is Shogo Hasui, and I must salute him.