Fans Project Ultra Magnus City Commander Arrives!

December 11, 2008

After months of drooling over blurry pre-release photos and convention pics, this baby finally arrived on my doorstep, along with a delivery of Omaha Steaks (meat and plastic – mmmm…)!  It’s a bit of a “Puzzleformer” as many have called it, since the trailer splits into 11 pieces or so in total, but who cares – it’s a friggin’ totally gnarly custom Ultra Magnus!

Here’s a nifty 3D animation made by one of the friends of Fans Project posted on Youtube to help you better visualize the armor fitting process:

Korean Victory Shuttle KO

September 29, 2008

The Victory Shuttle is sort of a Holy Grail to many Victory series fans.  It was released only in Japan and is pretty hard to find in good condition.

From the Collection of Wilson Ng

From the Collection of Wilson Ng

Likewise, a knockoff of a hard-to-find figure is sometimes also pretty rare as well.  This guy is a fairly interesting take on a classic figure, with some funny aspects to it that give it a pretty unique character.

WST Ghost Skywarp KO

September 25, 2008

This lil guy is a great repro of the WST series. The translucent material give him a ghostly glow as if he kicked the bucket because he had too much Energon to drink.

Korean KO Oversized G1 Cars, Part Deux

September 18, 2008

Found some more pics of the Korean oversized KO G1 Cars:

I think I’ve finally managed to track down all of the figures in this line.  The Korean KOs really have great amazing retro box art, reminiscent of the old Transformers catalog art, which shouldn’t be a suprise given the Japanese influence on Korean pop art.  Their themes seem to draw influences from both US and Korean pop culture, which, during the 80s and 90s, was very much just a regurgitation of whatever was popular in the US a few years earlier.  These KOs are an interesting mashup on many levels, and are at least good for a laugh.

Korean KO Oversized Bluestreak, SonataBot

September 16, 2008

UPDATE 9/17/08: Thx to Northern on the Autocon Yahoo group, we have pics of another oversized KO bot from the same company: Oversized KO Prowl | Box Art

I was lucky enough to have a good friend in Korea pick me up this rare piece of shi- history, a one-of-a-kind 300% supersized Bluestreak knockoff.  The best part for me isn’t just the toy itself, but also the packaging and presentation which really add to the entire ripoff experience.  Truly amazing.

In general, Korean toy knockoffs have typically been of fairly low quality to this point and this one is no exception.  From Mazinger Z retooled as Taekwon V to Michael Hasselhoff crossovers and Xabungle crossed over into the Taekwon V line, the Korean toy industry has had its fair share of infamy in the knockoff arena.  Korea, being close to Japan, usually borrows a lot of popular Japanese product ideas and “re-appropriates” them in their own context, mutating and twisting elements of popular culture to their own highly nationalistic tastes – sort of a love/hate/revenge affair in many ways.

Of course, there have been a lot of actual licensed product lines in Korea including Takara Transformers Car Robots and Bandai GoLion, but in general the toy manufacturers are usually just looking to turn a profit as cheaply and quickly as possible, with little thought of long-term strategy, continuity, or copyright infringement.  The products are often quirky, hard to track down, and hence rare to find in good condition.  While the knockoff industry may be illegally profiting from piracy and plagiarism, on the other hand a handful of companies have shown some major ingenuity and creativity that I’d like to think stems from sincere homage to the originals and adds to the lineage as bastard children.

Review Part 1/3 of KingToys 6″ Mini G1 Seeker Jets: Packaging

September 11, 2008

I never intended to do reviews on this blog, but this recent acquisition deserves some decent coverage.  So I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.  In came two packages containing a full 12 piece set of some of the finest Transformers knockoffs I have ever seen so far… BEHOLD, THE MINI SEEKER JETS BY KINGTOYS!

The Grand Unveiling begins:

Next, we test the Goods.  

PART 2: Ghost Starscream (Jet Mode)

Review Part 2/3 of KingToys 6″ Mini G1 Seeker Jets: Ghost Starscream (Jet Mode)

September 11, 2008

Now to break into this bad boy and check out the alt plane mode:

Next is the Piece de Resistance, Starscream in bot form!

Part 3: Ghost Starscream (Robot Mode)

Review Part 3/3 of KingToys 6″ Mini G1 Seeker Jets: Ghost Starscream (Robot Mode)

September 11, 2008

Mini Ghost Starscream in all his translucent glory:


These are some high-quality G1 reproductions. These aren’t your average cheapo knockoffs (not to knock on those). The detail and construction on these guys are superb. They are good enough to be considered a new line of figures all on their own, especially the Ghost versions. It’s amazing what they did with these planes.

The body is painted die-cast metal, like the original G1s. The plastic is durable and good quality, comparable to the Encore Series reissues. At about 6″ in length in plane mode, they are roughly 60% in scale to the original G1 jets. The jets just look so cool at this size, and are just as detailed and intricate as their G1 brethren. I’d love to see G1 cars at this size too, but that would require a lot of diecast metal and I bet they would be too expensive for a knockoff company like KingToys to produce. (Hear me, Takara?)

This line of figures is also great because now you can own the limited ultra-expensive redeco versions like the Ghost and Black Starscream and Sunstorm, as well as new clear versions of other G1 favorites, Dirge, Thrust, and Ramjet, for a fraction of the price. (I only wish they had done a Ghost Skywarp to match my WST Ghost Skywarp.)

Good things do come in small packages. I’m a proud papa.

Clear Prototype Test Shots

August 27, 2008

For auction on Yahoo Japan.

Lucky Draw Chrome Soundwave

August 24, 2008

This is as close as it gets to getting one. On Ebay Japan.

It reminds me of the breakdancing Soundwave and Rumble fanimation, an oldie-but-a-goodie.


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