Saturday, June 27, 2015


I haven't had time to make many new blogs for a while. But I just got a new box from Japan yesterday and it had an Ultra Magnus decoy in it. Since he completed my set, I figured it was time to write something. Also, I'm home along today and it's hot outside. So I'm going to enjoy the AC till the fiance gets home and have some TF time.

First off, here's a complete Decoy set. the US and the Japanese. 

Now, you might notice the Cons are in red and purple. Initially ALL US decoys were red. This was soon changed to red for autobot and purple for decepticon. Making completing a red deceptcon set INSANELY hard. For anyone who has done it (or tried) you know.

These were like the minispys, only available as a "freebie" with other TF toys.
Combiner limbs came with faction appropriate decoys, while the throttlebots came with a mix of autobot and decepticon. They were the ONLY WAY to even get red decepticons. 

Also included with each decoy, was this little comic about "how they came to be"

Meanwhile, in Japan they actually came in sets.
I don't have the decepticon set MIB yet, but you get the idea. Also, in Japan they were meant to launch at each other. 
Each set included a little spring loaded thing used to fire them at each other. Also in Japan, they were designed to be painted (much like he elusive white headmasters). 

Of the three boxed sets, there was on decoy that Japan got and we in the US did not
THE ELUSIVE LASERBEAK!!! As far as I know, he was never released in the US. Only available in the Japanese decepticon set. There are some others that we never got in the US, but even in Japan they were not included in the box sets. Magnus, Rodimus, metroplex, Superion, Defensor, Galvatron, Bruticus and Menasor were all released only in Japan and came in small individual boxes.

Like the little bumblebee here.

All of them also came in Red (which were the only ones I was concerned about when completing my set), yellow and blue. 

Decoys in Japan were also released in Peach!!!

Decoys in Japan were released by the company "Seven". They even came with other toys!
The Large vinyl Prime, Rodimus and Galvatron don't transform. But the Ultra Magnus Jr does. I don't collect Jrs, but the gift set with Galvatron and the Magnus is pretty damn cool. And the silver Megs gun is an actual launcher!!!

And, while they're not decoys (hell, I don't know what they are). I also have these little guys. Rubber and the limbs come off so you can mix-and-match.
I'm guessing they were party favors of some kind?

I've always loved decoys. They are small, cool, easy to complete a set or HARD AS HELL if you want ever different version. So, hope everyone enjoyed!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Grandus........was a Gobot Sympathizer???!!!??!

Ok, so I was looking through the Transformers Legacy book last night and just happened to open to Grandus's page. Now, I don't know if it's because I never looked close enough at his box art before.......or maybe it's just because the picture was larger and "in my face". But I noticed something odd.

Do you see it? Unless you're a gobot fan, I don't think you will.

The black Helicopter is supposed to be the micro-master Tracer, as depicted on the actual toy pictures on Grandus's box.

However, there is this Super Gobot with the name Warpath.

Now, lets look at the front of Grandus's box again.

Looks a lot more like Warpath then Tracer to me! Look at the red labels/sticker. Look at the cockpit. Look at the whole over-all design. I don't know about everyone else, but I see Warpath. ESPECIALLY when you compare it to this other artwork. One is obviously Tracer and the other looks a lot more like Warpath.

Now, here's the real funny thing. In Japan, Warpath was released in Japan under the toy line Machine Robo (and sorry, I don't know his Japanese name), which had no ties at all to the American Gobot series. Probably one of the reasons Gobots never did as well as Transformers (one of many reasons) was that there was no cross country advertising. The transformers have always been a shared trademark worldwide. Prime is Prime in any country (in Japan he goes by Convoy, but he's still the same character) and Megatron is Megatron. But Machine Robo and Gobots shared NOTHING! Just the toy design. So, the point of all this..........

In Japan, Warpath was NOT a black helicopter, he was more green-ish.

In America, he was the black helicopter. That black AMERICAN version is the one on Grandus's shoulder. Which is even more confusing since Grandus was a Japanese exclusive toy! To top it off, Warpath was released in the US in 1984-ish and Grandus was released in Japan in 1991-ish.

So what does all this mean?!?!? Did Prime send Grandus to Gobotron on Leader-1's request to make peace and Warpath sent back as a diplomat? Did Leader-1 send Warpath to Cybertron to ask for help defeating the Renegades but he got caught up in the Transformers war? And more importantly, what kind of strange time warp was crossed to get these two together? Grandus shouldn't even be in the same universe as Warpath if you think about it! The Japanese and American continuities by this point in time have no similarities at all. Even if Gobotron and Cybertron do exist in the same universe, Warpath would have been sent into the Japanese time-line of Transformers. Not the American one which he should have crossed into.....

But in reality (which I think is even cooler) my guess is this. The Japanese artist for Grandus had a child who liked Gobots (not Machine robo, but Gobots) and that child must have loved his/her Warpath toy. So much in fact, that the artist threw in this Easter egg for the child. The designs between Tracer and Warpath are close enough that no one at work would question it (hell, probably no one in Japan had even owned a Warpath at this point in time!). But for that child, this would be the greatest Easter egg of all time.

thoughts? Am I crazy or does everyone else see this too?

And big thanks to my friends Brandon Yap (Heroic_decepticon) and Johnny Seidts for helping with pics and info.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

1989 Pretender Review / Post

So, yesterday I was browsing ebay (it's what I do when I get board) and randomly decided to look at pretender prices. When I got home, I started talking to a couple friends about pretenders. Particularly the later ones who have SKY ROCKETED in price since I bought all mine. Good god have they gone up......

Granted, even back when I was buying these guys they were hard to find. But I don't think I paid more then $50 for any of them (loose and complete). I know the MOSC pretenders I paid about $80 - $100 for with Bludgeon being the most at $180 or 300 (took me the longest to find and I don't remember which price I got him for). But the MIB/MISB ones, the most I paid was $90 for Thunderwing. I got all 5 from the same seller back in 2002/2005ish. The tape is cut on Vroom, Crossblades and Thunderwing, but the bubbles are still sealed.

This particular sealed Thunderwing actually brought me a LOT of anger back when i got him. Like I said, I got all 5 from the same seller.......but I didn't know they were sealed when I bought em. I had loose versions of Skyhammer, Roadblock, Crossblades and Vroom at the time. But still hadn't gotten a Thunderwing yet. I was a fan of the 80's comics, so Thunderwing was of course a key player and I was excited to play with him. Well, I get the big ass box and take them all out. ALL 5 ARE STILL SEALED?!?!? Now, I was excited since they were in better condition then I thought.....BUT I WANTED TO PLAY WITH THUNDERINWG!!! It took a lot of restraint to not cut open the bubble and take him out. Now, if that was the only one I planed on owning, I would have opened him right then and there. But, since I knew eventually I'd have 2 loose ones.......I decided to wait till I found a loose one to play with. I think it took me at least a couple months before I got my first loose one. THAT was a great day. But even now, as much as I love having the MISB one, I look at him with slight distain since he was my first and I couldn't play with him. Yea yea I know. This is a dumb thing to be upset about.

But, now that I have them all..........well........LOOK AT EM!!! They are bad ass!

All three are beefy as hell and stand out (in my mind) against all the 1988 pretenders. The robots are NOT stick figures, the are actual robots. The shells all look cool and actually TRANSFORM. Turns out, my favorite of all three is still Crossblades (even after all my Thunderwing drama). I think it's all the weapons he comes with and how much nicer he looks once they are all on. But he looks like a fricken monster when all his parts are on!

Also, all three robots COMBINE to their shells to make......well, slightly larger versions of what they already are. Not cool enough in my mind to warrant owning 3 loose of each though.

Now, the Ultra pretenders.......not as much of a fan. This was the logical "next step" from 1988. Skinny stick figures inside of a larger (transforming) shell which fits inside another larger transport vehicle (Matryoshaka transformers anyone?) Now, the biggest problem today on these guys is the GPS. Both smaller robots have body's made of gold. And any G1 collector knows the cringe that gives you. But, take the GPS away, they are kind of cool (and a nice upgrade from 1988) but compared to the Mega and standard pretenders released this year, they kind of suck. Especially once you read the Dreamwave bio for Roadblock. Somehow, a tiny cute GPS ridden robot doesn't instill fear in me. I'm just saying!!!

Lastly for today, the awesome "standard" pretenders. The one who makes this series for me is (and always has been) Bludgeon!!!! I can't express how much I love this character and how good the toy looks. I wish he actually came with a sword like he did in the Marvel comics (all three of the Decepticons had melee weapons) but, they are still pretty cool as is. I'm still floored by how much a complete loose Bludgeon goes for now. Simply in awe........

The only real flaw in the pretenders is if you lost their vehicle weapons. Without their vehicle weapons well........ they can't transform. But it is nice that all parts and bits can be stored on or in the shell. That and all 6 have some of the smallest weapons EVER. Probably why these guys demand such high prices now. Everyone lost them!

I do have to say though, Octopunch.........without your helmet you are one UGLY SOB.

And just to show how much I love Bludgeon, he's probably my favorite piece of "official" artwork with him. Him jumping out of the Warworld to wreck havoc on earth in the G2 comic book. Bludegon only appeared on a couple of pages before he was killed. I'm lucky enough to own 5 of those pages original artwork :)

LOOK AT HIM!!! I would be shitting myself if that was coming at me. And again, all three have melee weapons and not guns.

Lastly, just for fun (and since I took it) Here's my "extra shell" shelf. Since all mine are complete and I don't need to actually display more then one shell per pretender, all the extras reside here, behind closed doors........

Hope you all enjoyed!