Friday, September 12, 2014

Masterpiece Shackwave!!

Okay, now to talk about my Masterpiece Shackwave (Grey Quakewave or Shockwave...). I got him and to be honest, I was almost more excited about him than the purple Shockwave for a number of reasons. First off, as a kid, I grew to really love Shockwave from his early appearance in the Marvel comics. I knew he was purple, but he was actually a darker almost grey in his many depictions in the book it seemed. Either way, I was never able to get him as a kid, and began working to get him once I was an adult and internet, money, etc. made that possible. To my surprise though, I found him very expensive, even in those early days. With that being the case, I did find a grey Shackwave in excellent and working condition for a good price and picked it up. I loved it, and while I do want to someday add the "real" purple one, I have been happy with the grey. Getting back to current day, I actually probably wanted a grey one more than purple, and when I found out ToyDojo was offering an exclusive grey version that was still in stock and affordable, I had to pick him up! Speaking of ToyDojo....

ToyDojo was a retailer I had heard about a few times on various Transformer sites such as TFW2005, but I honestly didn't really look at them too much because I seemed to be in good hands with BigBadToyStore. With this being an exclusive, I had to order from them, and to be honest, I was really blown away. I am really glad I did now, and have actually decided to switch to them going forward. This is for several reasons. As far as this order goes, it met their threshold of orders over $150 get free shipping, which I liked. Then, they shipped the same day I ordered with 2 day priority shipping, so I got it superfast. I usually have to pay BBTS to ship, and when I do, it sits in the warehouse for a day or two, and then they ship. I admit, I pay for less expensive shipping, so I usually have to wait probably 4 or 5 days on average to get it. So in this case, I got it shipped free and much faster than normal. Not done with shipping yet... I also got it packed extremely well! It was tightly wrapped in bubblewrap and packing material. BBTS does that too I guess, but it is not usually done nearly as tight and well. I was really impressed. Still not done yet. When I got it, ToyDojo shipped me free batteries that are not normally included, as well as an additional head for free. If you are still reading this, you are probably wondering why they shipped an extra head free, and I admit, I was too. Well, I went to put the batteries in the head on it, and I found out. I put the batteries in, and turned it on. It lit up, and all seemed good, so then I turned it off. I fiddled around for a minute with my exciting new toy, and decided to turn it on again. Unfortunately, when I did, the switch snapped right off. I almost died! I remembered they sent me the extra head though, so I got to work! I quickly removed the broken one, and replaced it with the spare. I put the batteries in and gave it one more successful test. I will be honest, I am now scared to do it again. Anyone that knows me knows I am careful with my collection, and I was in this case. It breaking was unfortunately due to a poorly constructed switch, and not from me manhandling it. Had ToyDojo not sent me that extra head, I would have been screwed. That really meant a lot to me, and with all that I just mentioned, they won my business. BBTS really has never done anything wrong I would say, but ToyDojo raised the bar to me.

****Also I am editing this now, and adding some more in regards to my new love for ToyDojo! When I got my purple Quakewave, I bought it from an individual who had kept all that he came with but the clear plastic clamshell that he should be stored in within the box. That is okay for most people, but I am really a completionist, and really hated that I couldn't store him in the box and display him that way if I wanted, which I am doing with pretty much all of my Masterpieces until I get a good enclosed display for them. Anyway, I had read before that ToyDojo is known for doing good things for their customers. After my Grey Quakewave had came in so great, and with the free head averting a disaster, I emailed them and thanked them for the exceptional service. They responded it was all good, and told me to let them know if they could help in the future. Well yesterday, I realized that with them having extra parts like that extra head they sent me and all, that maybe they would also have some extra packaging, and might have that bubble. I contacted them and asked, and sure enough they do, and I was told they would send it on my next order. How awesome is that? I love these guys even more now. I am originally from Texas myself, and these guys are in Austin, so that is also cool. Glad to send more business to my home state!

Anyway, check out ToyDojo and the Grey Quakewave if not all their other excellent selection. Link is below.

One final note, with these third party additions, I added what I believe is the true "third-party" Transformers Masterpieces to my Masterpiece page. Click on this Masterpiece link if you care to see. Keep in mind, this is my personal list in regards to those...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Masterpiece Shockwave!!

It is here!! The third party Masterpiece that really made me decide to break the no third party rule along with Huffer. Heres the thing, Huffer was the first third party Masterpiece I bought, but it was a combination of him being less expensive, still being available to a small degree as well as my like for him (I remember my Grandmother buying me the original G1 version of him as one of my Christmas presents). It was the Fan Toys Quakewave (Shockwave) however, that put things in motion. You see, I didn't know about Quakewave until sometime after he had been out, and when I did discover it, I wrestled over making the third party plung until July of 2014. I loved Shockwave pretty much from the beginning of my knowledge of him when I got the Transformers comics from Marvel (Issue 5, I still love that cover and wish I could have it as a poster).

Anyway, in July I decided I should probably bend the rules with all the good things I had read and seen on YouTube, so I thought I would start with the Cubex Huff (Huffer) and see how it went from there (price and availability as I mentioned above). I think I grabbed the last one that BBTS had, and when it came in, I was really happy with it. I then knew that I had to go ahead and break the rules for other third party masterpieces as long as I made sure they were good beforehand from what is online. I then went to try to track down Shockwave. As you can well imagine, no retailer I could find has him anymore, and eBay sellers are wanting $300 plus for him. I have continued to look and finally got lucky and found one on eBay for a bit less than that though it was opened and briefly displayed from what I read. I got it today, and while I really haven't had a chance to do much with him because of work, I did open him and experience some of his glory. Below are the eBay sellers pics. I am so happy!!

What makes this even crazier and me more happy, is I also received the Grey version (Shackwave) which is a ToyDojo exclusive today. I actually will probably like this one even more, but I refuse to open it or say more about it today. I am going to wait and save it for a day or two before I even open it. I want to enjoy Shockwave first. Keep an eye out for my next post!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gobots secret riders Tri Trak MIB

Gobots update #2 in recent history. The same guy that sold me the Snoop I posted about a few weeks ago also put up a rare and fairly mint Tri Trak. Tri Trak was one of the last Gobots released by Tonka in a fairly limited quantities. It is fairly rare, and even harder to find one that is complete and in perfect condition without anything missing, like this one. He came complete with his 2 guns, base, the bot itself, as well as box, styrofoam, and instructions/insert. It wasn't inexpensive, but could have been far worse. A great addition to my Gobots collection that is getting so close to completion.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gobots Snoop

A cool Gobots update. I just found and purchased a Renegade Snoop off of eBay. Snoop is very rare, and there has been some uncertainty as whether she was really even released in normal retail back during the Gobots run in the mid 80's. It seems like the rare unopened ones I have seen online weren't from someone picking them up at retail, but through former Tonka employees. Not sure where the seller got this one from, but if I had to guess, I am betting it was probably the Bandai/Japan release. Either way, she is in pretty great condition with minimal wear.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Masterpiece!?!? Huffer

Okay, this one is a bit different. I usually think it is better to stick to official releases, but the wait for a new Masterpiece figure has gone too long, and I have been looking at the Cubex Huff (Huffer) on the web for a long time now. Temptation has gotten to much though, and so I have decided to add him and likely other third party offerings I like to my Masterpiece collection.

I got him from BBTS, and I have to admit I really do like him, and glad I made the gamble. He is really cool, and does fit in with the Takara/Hasbro Masterpieces. I just don't know how I am going to feel about the investment if an official one is ever released.

On a different note, during this purchase, I also added the MP-15 Rumble & Ravage Coin to my masterpiece set. I have been working to add the coins released in Asia to my collection throughout the year. I actually have at least half of them now. I have made sure to order the Takara releases with the coins from BBTS from now on.

50th Anniversary G.I. Joe

Time to add a little Joe magic into the collection again. Hasbro released various 50th Anniversary G.I. Joe packs, and I managed to preorder and get 2 of the two-packs (Night Marksmen - Low-Light vs. Night Viper and Heated Battle - Blowtorch vs H.E.A.T. Viper), and 2 of the three-packs (The Vipers Pit - Cobra Trooper, Cobra Viper, Beach Head and The Eagles Edge - Destro, Leather Neck and Hawk). I love me some small Joes.

I just worry about the cost if they release too many (not inexpensive anymore) as well as availability. Heck, I see there were some vehicle sets that already seem to be sold out at most retailers that I haven't gotten yet. I hope Hasbro doesn't make me regret this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

G.I. Joe Desert Fox

Okay, this post is a little different. This is about a small triumph I finally had in regards to the Desert Fox. It was a vehicle that I really had no interest in up until the last year or so, but that's part of the story I guess...

About a year or so ago, my friend Garrett called me up, and told me while digging through family storage, he came across a ton of his old Transformers and G.I. Joe collection from his childhood. He has no real interest in that stuff anymore, but knew that I did. He said he would sell to me what he had. I whipped over, and saw that he had a ton of G.I. Joe, and some TF. Anyway, there was a lot that was broke or missing, and all was very dirty, but it was a treasure trove none the less. I worked out a good deal with him, and picked it all up from him. I then went to work sorting, cleaning and working to repair things. One good thing was that most of his collection picked up at about the end of mine. He is a few years younger than me, so that makes since I guess.

Anyway, getting back to the story, I really had a lot to work with, and was able to get parts and pieces to replace lost and broke ones online, mostly on eBay. One of my biggest wins was the '88 G.I. Joe Rolling Thunder. I cleaned it up and pieced back together an almost complete and awesome vehicle. Getting sidetracked again....

Finishing out this story and the reason for this post, he had a Desert Fox in that collection as well. It was overall in good condition, but was missing a couple of small pieces I didn't get too worried about at the time. What did bother me though, we the front wheel axle!! It has a special front axle that when unbroken and working right would cause the other wheel to turn when you turned the other. Unfortunately, the axle itself is a weird piece that sits on two pegs within the front hood area inside. If it is broken, not only does the functionality I mentioned not work, but also the wheel kind of fold out and dont sit right. His axle was broken, and that was exactly what it was doing, and it really started bothering me for some reason, once I had it cleaned up and on display. I took the steps then to do what I had done with other Joe parts and go online and try to find a replacement.

The thing I found with this is that I couldn't really find anything but on eBay, and on there 99% of sellers don't know, or don't care about this part. Most seem to have gotten it from someone else, and when any questions were asked, they couldn't answer them. I then resorted to buying in hopes I got the right and unbroken part. Unfortunately, the first 2 times I did this, I was unsuccessful, and I wound up with more pieces and no fixes. The good note is, I usually was able to get something from each person that made it not a total waste. Either a part that was missing in my original, or at least one that was in better shape. Finally, before the date of this post, I made a third purchase, and did get one with a good and unbroken axle. I pieced it all together, and I now have an awesome and flawless Desert Fox that is not missing any pieces. I even have a set of instructions/specs. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures yet, but below are links to the YoJoe site if there is any interest in seeing the vehicles mentioned. Also, as I mentioned, I have a number of extra pieces I have no interest in now. If you are reading this and have interest, let me know. I will likely let someone more or less have them if they would cover the shipping part of it....