Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 - The Year In Review

Happy New Year everyone!  2013 was a great year for me and my hobbies.  Here's a brief summary of the year:

I obtained several Transformers that I previously thought would be unobtainable for me and my finances while in the same year made the tough decision to say good bye to one of my most prized TF possessions.  I help several fellow collectors and friends put on one of the best Transformers conventions ever, Charticon.  In the process I forged some great friendships with these guys along the way and that was way better than any of the TF loot I brought home from the dealer room.  I've also found several new blogs and forged "Facebook friendships" with many of these new bloggers.  That makes me want to keep on plugging away in 2014.

Even though I haven't yet fully revealed all of the Japanese G1 goodies I acquired in late 2013, I have shared a few items that I still can't believe sit on my shelves.  Rabbicrater has always been a piece that intrigued me, but due to his demand and high price I never really sought him out.  Even though the package contains a simple repainted Micromaster and a VHS cassette I'll never watch, I was psyched to not only find this piece in this condition, but even happier to add him to my collection.

Skygarry was an interesting purchase...more of a learning lesson.  Even season, veteran collectors like myself can easily get wrapped up in the excitement of finding a good deal.  I was so excited and pumped over this potentially great deal that I didn't do my due diligence and ended up with a toy that wasn't exactly as advertised.  While I don't consider myself a perfectionist, this was just one piece that I decided didn't live up to my collection specifications.  Little did I know the proceeds from the sale of his piece would end up funding a hard to find piece of video game hardware I would end up purchasing as a part of my other hobby.

Some of you guys know that I my collecting isn't just fixated on Transformers.  While there are times I kinda wish I could just pick one hobby and let that be it, I can't.  Call me weak or whatever, but my tastes are so varied.  Why just order off the menu when you can visit the buffet?  Video games have always been something that I've really enjoyed, but I never considered myself a collector.  While that line is still a little blurry for me, I'm slowly starting to realize the fun of collecting games much like collecting toys is fun.  That said you may see more video game related content coming in the new year.  Earlier in the year I had picked up a copy of a UK retro video game magazine and the cover story on the Sega Master System really taught me some new things and eventually led to my acquisition of a completed, boxed Sega Mark III.  I still only have a few games, but so far I've really enjoyed the system and look forward to picking up more titles in the future.

While I still haven't crafted a proper post yet, I can't let this post come and go without sending out a huge "Thank you" to heroic_decepticon for hooking me up with one of my so called holy grails of TFs...Lander C-200.  One of these days I'll finally get a review posted for the toy and tell the full story, but I needed to squeeze this in as I'll forever be in debt to him.

Probably the biggest highlight of the year for me was Charticon.  It's one thing to attend a show, but to be a part of the show and help nurture it from a simple idea to a full fledge convention is entirely another thing.  Charticon was a success in the fact that a lot of people converged upon the Queen City (Charlotte, NC) and had a good time.  I was able to put some faces with some names (or shall I say discussion board handles) with faces while picking up some great toys.  Of course what great TF convention doesn't have an exclusive?  Charticon unvield a Classics themed G1 Targetmaster Quake figure, Aftershock!

The best part of being on the Charticon committee was being able to interact with so many other fans that would later become people I call my friends.  Huge shout out to Eric Warren, Roy Altherr, Scott Silver, David Cunningham, Chris 'Topher" Williams, Ronnie, Jacob Waller, DJ Short and Matt Steninger.

Just a few months ago I re-evaluated where I stand on my collecting habits.  Part of this new vision is focusing on quality in my collection versus quantity.  What that means is I've come to the conclusion that it's time to thin things out a bit.  With today's technology (i.e. social media) it's easy to get caught up w/ competing with your fellow collector...or at least I feel like that was something I suffered from at times.  However there have been times where I've felt honored to be able to share my collection and my story with the masses.  In 2012 I had that opportunity via a local television station's show called Carolina Camera.  The opportunity came knocking again in 2013 when TFSource's blogger, Maz asked if I'd like to be a part of their Collector Interview series.  Of course I said yes and I was thrilled with how Maz put all the words together.  I thought he did a great job conveying what it was like to be a collector on a budget and with a family.  I know I'm not the only one out there that collectors toys or whatever that is married with small children, but I'm glad to have been able to offer some variety to the Collector Interview segment of the blog.

I'm always searching for new blogs that interest me, whether they be Transformer related or not.  One of the better blogs I've found and one that is consistently updated with new content is Optimal Omega's blog. While I already knew about the blog it seemed as if he really stepped up his game in 2013.  When I made a Facebook page for my blog is when I really started to connect with the guy behind the blog (Alex Mendoza).  Throughout the year it's been fun reading what is going on in his collecting world and keeping tabs with him.  There have been a few other blogs and guys I discovered via Facebook as well and I hope 2014 proves to be just as entertaining as 2013 has been.

2013 was also great to my humble blog.  While I rarely look at the Statistics tab on my Blogger dashboard, I couldn't help but to be floored by what I saw.  For the year I exceeded 100,000 hits!  105,318 to be exact.  128 total posts - ranging from Transformers (of course) to LEGO to Marvel to Rock Lords and more.  I'm always honored when people not only take the time to read what I have to say, but also take the time to leave a comment.  I love toys.  Through this blog I have found new ways to appreciate those toys.  I thank everyone that has stopped by my corner of the web and I hope I can keep up the same level of quality in 2014, if not improve.  That said I did receive a nice light box/tent and a new digital camera for Christmas, so once I play with the settings and light configurations more I hope to have much better quality pictures in future reviews.  However I still have a huge backlog of things I've already photographed that I just need to edit and write up so hang in there.  While we wait for those new posts, I can finally open this ginormous stack of new toys I have sitting in the corner of my room.  Maybe I should take a poll to see what toy I should open / review first?  Hmmm...


  1. 2013 has been a spectacular year for you! I've been privileged to get to know you this year and have benefited from your advice. Being featured in Maz's blog is something that I think every collector aspired to, and I'm glad that you got featured. I can't wait until you show off Lander! And I'm still upset that I didn't make it to Chartcion, but I will in 2015. Charticon alone is enough to seal a legacy, but you've accomplished a lot this year. Congrats on the great year!

    1. Yeah, it's always fun meeting new people/collectors and finding out what their likes and dislikes are. Not sure what 2014 holds for me and my collection, but I'm ready to go.

  2. Wow, a great summary to the year. I agree with Optimal that Charticon is such an acheivement.
    I've asked you about BotCon this year, but I think there going to be a good chance that I will skip BotCon and just do Charticon in 2015.

    I was wondering where the Lander review went.... heh. It's good to help our collector buddies and for sure I consider you and Arkvander (and some others) among some of my closest TF-collector friends.

  3. 2013 was great and i think 2014 is going to be as well.

  4. I'm ashamed I never got around to doing a proper Lander post in 2013. I've got so many things in the works or just backlogged it's not even funny. I've got my own pile of loot literally sitting in the corner of my room right now. Sealed TFs and other toys that have been sitting there for 8+ months! I feel like I could open my own toy store!

    As for Botcon, I won't be attending another one unless it's within a few driving hours distance from my home. I don't care for the direction that Fun Pub has taken the show. I know it'll never be as small and personal feeling as it once was, but Botcon really isn't my cup of tea anymore.

  5. Congrats on the100,000! It sounds like you've had a great year indeed!

    That Sega Mark III is interesting. Is it just the third version of the Master System?

    For some reason I completely forgot you were down in NC. One of these days, we'll have to have a VA/NC blogger get together. Seems there's quite a few of us in the area.

    1. Basically yes, the Sega Mark III is their 3rd attempt at a home console. It was changed and rebranded as the Master System for release outside of Japan. I like collecting the Mark III for several reasons, but mostly because the carts are bigger and allow for some great sticker artwork. I know that seems kind of shallow, but hey.

      I'm actually in SC, but the upper part of the state near Charlotte. Yeah, that would be cool. I do seem to know a lot of guys in the area that appreciate our fondness of plastic crack!