Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Year in Review

For my first post of 2013 I decided to take a few moments and look back at 2012.  2012 was a crazy year for me and my family.  The year started off as usual, but around the spring time things got a little rocky for my family and I (happily) sold off large chunks of my Transformers collection.  I say happily because I would never put my hobby in front of my family's well being.  Gone were most of my Botcon box sets, my TF Animated collection (minus a few select figures) and other 'bots that I knew would bring in decent money.

All was not lost however as things started to take a turn for the better towards the end of the year.  If you've been following my blog for awhile then you probably saw a big increase in the amount of volume towards the end of the year.  After the baseball season ended there wasn't as much going on in the trading card world so I decided to take my focus and shift it over to here.  After all my room & closet still looks like a Toys R Us store with stacks and stacks of unopened toys - just waiting to be opened and photographed for the blog.

2012 was a great year for toys.  For starters I was featured on a local news program here in the Charlotte, NC region thanks to my growing TF collection.  Sadly however the links to the video are no longer working and I don't have the capabilities of ripping the video from the disc they supplied to me.

My first review of the year was actually a rare video review for me.  I prefer the typed review over the video review, but I did show off my first Transformers 3rd party purchase - iGear Mini Warriors Spray and Rager.

In addition to toys I'm also a big video gamer and collector.  I don't do many video game reviews, but I did try my hand at reviewing one of my favorite NES games earlier in the year - Power Blade.

The first time we visited the KO Korner in 2012 featured one of the awesome Transformers KO Metamorphs.  I know a lot of collectors dismiss KOs as collectible, but in a strange way I still find them appealing and highly collectible at times.

Even though at times the blog may be Transformers heavy, I try to feature other toys that I have an interest in and this review of VOR-Tech Battle Tracker surprised even me with more than 400 hits.  Nice to see others appreciate this small, but awesome line of toys.

Perhaps the biggest splash any post made in 2012 was actually a KO Korner post of the Scramble City Basebot "Menasor".  Closing in on 1,000 hits this post exceeded every expectation even I had.  I've always wanted that toy and I figured not many people out there were familiar with it so I wanted to share it with everyone.  Even as I look at Blogger's stats I'm still amazed at the success this post and the blog as a whole have performed in 2012.

It's not often that I acquire a so called "holy grail", but in late April I saw the addition of a vintage Japanese TF added to my collection - Skyhyper w/ Deadwheeler C-346.  A generous TFW2005 board member hooked me up with this gem and I couldn't be happier.  The piece came nearly 100% complete - only missing the blue radar dish and two yellow Micromaster ramps.  Surprisingly I found the ramps from another TFW2005 member and made the trade, but I knew the chances of finding the radar dish was slim to none.  So I just grabbed an extra Skyhopper dish off of eBay and painted it blue - wha-la!  Easy place holder until I can find the real deal.

Skyhyper wasn't the only vintage TF I was able to pick up.  Thanks to a low bid + some luck on Yahoo! Japan auctions I was able to pick up an incomplete Headmaster Jr. figure - GoShooter.  I'm not a customizer and I have very little luck when it comes to restoring toys, but I think I did a great job bringing back the vintage glory of GoShooter.  I'm still in search of a box to put him in, but for less than $100 I'm happy with the final outcome.

Not able to attend Botcon (again), I was happy to spend my time and money at the big local comic book convention that is held annually in my own backyard of Charlotte, NC - HeroesCon.  For the first time in several years I was able to attend all 3 days.  I did my best to document each day I attended - 1st, 2nd and 3rd days.  Even though I had dropped most of my comic purchasing earlier in the year it still was a blast.  Looking ahead to 2013 I'll probably be skipping HeroesCon in lieu of Charticon in August.  This will be a labor of love for many here in my area and I can't wait to throw my support behind what is shaping up to be an awesome show.

I'm always looking for new toys and thanks to a thread I saw over at TFW2005 in the ToyArk I discovered the awesome (and afforadable) line of transformable vehicles called DiaRobo.  I still have LOTS of these guys to share here so if you liked what you saw in my first post then keep reading as I've bought just about the entire line thus far!

Just when I thought I couldn't run across any good deals online I was given the opportunity of adding my very first Diaclone to my Transformers collection.  Not just any Diaclone though.  The Diaclone of my favorite G1 figure/character - Sunstreaker!  I kinda wish the deal would've been for the red version, but I'll take this one any day of the week.  I still can't believe this little gem now resides in my man cave.

One more deal was to be had before the year drew to a close - this time on the video game front.  The Castlevania series of games have always been one of my favorites.  So much that I bought a Japanese PC Engine game console a few years ago just so I could play the one lone entry on the PC Engine platform - Dracula X.  Needless to say I was elated not only when I landed the game, but also paid a fraction of what it usually sells for online.

Back on the Transformers front 2012 brought forth one of the best TF series since Beast Wars.  Not only was Transformers Prime shaping up to be an excellent toy line, but once I was able to watch the television show thanks to Netflix I began to realize just how awesome Prime was.  I secured season 2 on Bluray for Christmas so I'm just now slowly working my way through the 2nd season and man oh man what a roller coaster ride it's been.  Not to be outdone, Takara Tomy unleashed the Prime toys in Japan with a twist - Microns!  Several toys would be released in the east that Hasbro wouldn't touch for some reason.  I found myself importing most of these non-U.S. releases and one of the most anticipated toys was Gaia Unicron.  It may not be the definite release of the chaos bringer, but it's a great toy non the less.

Perhaps my favorite toy of 2012 may come as a surprise to many.  With all of the great toys that were released in the year I gotta say my favorite even surprised me.  Toy World's first entry into the crowded Transformers 3rd party world was a great modern take on the G1 Throttlebot Rollbar - Grind Rod was worth every penny and I simply cannot wait for the next release.

2013 is already shaping up to be a great year.  There are so many toys coming in the first 2 quarters that I'm thinking I may need to pick up a 2nd job just to keep up with everything!  I can't promise you'll see all the hot toys featured here (heck, I still haven't opened my Masterpiece Lambor, FansProject Steelcore and several Arms Micron releases from this year!), but I'll continue to do my best bringing attention to lots and lots of great toys in the year to come. 

Thanks to all of you that have read and commented on my posts throughout the year.  I don't have sponsors and I may not have the followers that some YouTube reviewers have.  I do this because I enjoy toys and I enjoy writing and blogging about them.  Here's to a great 2013!


  1. What a great idea for a post! I wish I had thought of it. Looks like 2012 was pretty good to you despite the bumps in the road. Here's to 2013!

    1. Agree with Eric that its a great idea for a post. I usually do a post like that on 31 Dec of a year, as a way of looking back, but year 2012, as you would have seen, has been quite a stressful hectic one for me and so I took almost 3 months off blogging and only recently returned.

      Congrats on your first diaclone. Word from the wise - thread carefully and keep your heart in check. Diaclone collecting has a tendency to hurt one's wallet, really bad! =)

    2. Believe me Heroic, I won't be buying anymore Diaclone toys anytime soon! It's not like I have my own printing press in my basement where I can fabricate my own money.