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Everything posted by nhyone

  1. Although I don't collect CHUG figures, I still got these. They are very G1, has few hollowness and is greebleless. Sadly, I got a pre-yellowed Cyclonus cos I didn't check carefully.
  2. Shouldn't this be in the official thread? Should be of more interest to people who collect official toys. Fillers are very nice (I can't stand the figures with gaps), but they are expensive to get kit by kit. If only someone makes one kit for the entire line...
  3. Wardog is complicated for 2015. Maybe the designer went on to work on the FansToys movie bots after that. I got Wardog for its tank mode. I never thought of him as Warpath. Other than Sheridan's broken leg, I don't think there has been other complaints about the figure? At least the waist can swivel.
  4. I don't think MST has mentioned what tapes come with Soundwave. I think the bundled tapes will be Buzzsaw + drone (for blue one). The others will be in a separate tape set.
  5. I like the NA seekers until it comes to the lower legs. I don't like the look of the two-step thruster shin vent, and that the rear wing is folded onto the side of the leg and makes the leg multi-color. For Soundwave, one is blue, one is black. Make sure you order the right one! (Blue one comes with two tapes.)
  6. Other than her chest, is there any part of her bot mode that is used in car mode? This is just like Haslab Unicron. The alt mode can look good cos it is single-purpose. (Just hang the whole thing off her back.)
  7. Earthrise is looking very good for G1 toon fans! I have no interest in Hasbro mainline, but I'm considering buying some ER figures! Modern take and aren't overly-greebled like Seige!
  8. If it were directly from the company, it is marketing. In the first video, at 4:04 onward, the reviewer described the First Devastator War between TFC and MT. At that time, TFC was 'king' and MT a contender. TFC came out with Hercules first. MT realized fans wanted G1-style and announced Giant. It was a huge hit. To fight back, TFC had to introduce an upgrade kit to make its figure more G1. MT took this opportunity to turn online fans against TFC. 'Virtually overnight', everyone turned away from TFC and towards MT. TFC never recovered from this loss in reputation. A new king was born. I remembered Spencer mentioned in his Bobby Skullface interview that MT was very concerned about its image online. In the early days, companies were more prone to using 'fans' to raise the company image. This could be why NewAge refused to sell new legs separately for its Agamemnon (Megatron). But then MMC doesn't care and sells its Assaultus upgrade kit so expensively. I wonder what's the reaction in Chinese forums today. I can tell you straightway that, watching some of his reviews, this reviewer does not like MMC -- mainly due to its high pricing. The reviewer wrote this sort-of like a historical 'documentary' (from what he knew) and has an earlier video talking about FPJ: 【变百科】史上最悲催第三方, 物极必反的FPJ (The saddest 3P in history, the peak and decline of FPJ.) Basically, he said FPJ kept wanting to do its own thing after it got recognition from Transformers fans, but they weren't buying into it, so ultimately it just faded away. I think there's no more room for 3P in CHUG, that's why they had to move on. The whole 变百科 is worth watching. Two-part series on UniqueToys: 【变百科】江东自古怀才俊,一朝乘雷便化龙 Its beginnings and early challenges. Its greatest work (to date) Ragnaros (Bruticus) was upstaged by TW's Armageddon and they had to rush it out. [Now we know why the limbs weren't as refined as the legs.] In the end, UT found it was tricked when TW finally revealed it was using the pants approach. 【变百科】跃龙门的小鱼变锦鲤,运气确实是实力的一部分 UT refocused on movie stuff and collaborated with DX9 to overcome its weakness in aesthetics. The last part shifted to DX9 and he said DX9 had an ace up its sleeve, but he left it as a cliffhanger. On Legends: 【变百科】弑神三部曲第一章:昙花一现的神,口袋中的战争 The very first 3P Legend figures were the VIP three Datsun brothers by ARK Studio. (Its designer was well known as 'the god of scale'.) It was not successful. DX9 saw the potential and followed with its ace -- its War in Pocket series. UniqueToys joined in the fun. Good times did not last. Both were forced to stop due to over-KO'ing. One particular KOer was especially lethal. UT 'died' first, leaving DX9 to fight alone. But even DX9 found it harder and harder to 'live'. DX9's last WiP was Dutch (Optimus Prime) as a send-off, and it was KO'ed too. The lethal KOer was revealed to be MFT. And MFT was allied with the designer of ARK Studio. 【变百科】弑神三部曲第二章:河森正治的精神续作如何中道崩 MFT is revealed to be backed by Machine Boy (a big organization with vast experience with 4P/KO Transformers). MFT planned to dominate the Legends market by having both original designs and KO'ing its competitors: DX9, UT, MST and even IronFactory. It went with Legends+ scale for a few reasons. Hot Soldiers was supposed to be its original brand, led by ex-designer from ARK Studio. The reviewer explained why HS started at 03. But HS products weren't very well designed, despite what its designer may think. It accumulated at HS-09 Big Yellow Bee (Bumblebee), which received harsh criticism due to its open back. The designer hit back with a number of points, one of which was that "no one is capable of making a 6cm Bumblebee". And this would be his undoing. Where was the DX9 WiP designer? Where was the UT designer? They were not idling, but were sharpening their swords to challenge MFT once more. 【变百科】弑神三部曲第三章:黎明前的天际必将赤红如血 What is the relationship between DX9 and New Age? It's too long to explain [his words, not mine], but New Age is undeniably DX9 WiP designer. ("It's him!") New Age's first release was a 6.0cm Bumblebee. It had good looks, good transformation, good material and was well-made. It made NA famous overnight. And it was also a slap on HS designer's face, who once claimed it was impossible ('no one is capable of making a 6cm Bumblebee'). This was extremely significant because it showed 'the god of scale' was not infallible after all. Previously, his word on scale was taken as gospel. With NA-H1 Flipper (Bumblebee), NA established a new Legends- scale. MFT would not be able to dictate the Legends market. NA went on to do very well. When NA came out with the Datsun three brothers, MFT released their own using updated VIP design. It was supposed to be HS-17, but later branded as Iron Trans. Only the designer knew why. Flipper was KO'ed by KBB and UI. Due to popularity of MFT, many people thought these were original designs. The reviewer had no heart to tell them the truth when he saw people playing happily with these. Some were aware of MFT, but not NA. The irony of being original. At one time, Jizai announced they were going to KO NA Ratchet/Iron Hide, but then they dropped it quietly. The reviewer speculated Jizai wanted to buy the blueprint from NA (common practice in 3P; this is 'KO' to the outside world), but NA didn't want to sell. [Followed by a short review on Agamemnon (Megatron), Insecticons and seekers.] The DX9 WiP designer who was once 'beaten to near death' had come back. But where was his Legends ex-companion? Was he still a friend, or was he a foe now? 【变百科】弑神番外篇(序):如果我是DJ你会爱我吗?当长毛变秃头的时候… An intro of Magic Square designer. He was a former DJ and had no formal training in design. But he loved combiners and tinkered with existing combiners to improve them or create new ones. His work was noticed by 3P companies and he joined Unique Toys. Ragnaros was designed by him. After that, he left and set up his own design studio, Magic Square. And one of the first things he wanted to do was Menasor, something he was not able to do in MP scale in the past. He revealed the fourth version of his Menasor in the 2019 Shanghai Toy Show. What this tells me: (i) we will see Legends Menasor. This is a given since the last reveal; (ii) I don't think we will see any MP-scale figures from MST any time soon. His focus is on Legends. [Note: from his other reviews, I gather the reviewer is a friend of the MST designer.]
  9. Are you perhaps thinking TaoBao is full of scammers? I think ShowZ made a mistake, that's all. I have sellers on TaoBao sent me the wrong things on two occasions. One of them is even the manufacturer itself.
  10. Utopia was the start, Despotron was the end. Up to that point, it was all rosy for MakeToys due to a combination of exoticism ('Japanese'), premium (priced extremely high), niche (the right products) and online propaganda campaign, especially against its main competitor TFC. [My translation of the review, start] Utopia was supposed to be MT's crowning achievement, except... Hasbro came out with Titan Metroplex. To compete, MT had to slash price by 50% (1,250 yuan [~US$210 then]) and engaged in massive online propaganda. But this time, the massive price reduction upsetted early adopters and the propaganda was too heavy-handed and turned the fandom off. After this, its two Headmasters didn't take off. Its long-delayed Pandinus was finally released, but production was rushed and didn't catch flaws in design. Its next few products, including Defensor, also suffered from low production values. MT was declining product by product. To compensate, it went overdrive with its online propaganda. But it didn't work as well as in the past because 3P standards had improved and it caused backslash instead. MT then turned its attention to Masterpiece, starting a new RM line. But it didn't go smoothly, because it encountered competition at every turn: Gundog (Hound), Visualizers (Reflector) . It then tried a Targetmaster (Contact Shot), but it didn't catch on. Its next RM Downbeat (Jazz) sold okay, but fans were price-sensitive or held out stubbornly for official MP. The next RM Hellfire (Inferno) was supposed to be a home-run, then MMC OX revealed Backdraft at 500+ yuan, but ultimately both were pushed aside when MP-33 was revealed. The price crashed from 800+ yuan (~US$122 in 2015) to 300 yuan, upsetting early buyers. MT did not lose heart. It switched its main online propaganda channel to Weibo and confidently introduced Despotron (Megatron), with its polished design, at 900+ yuan (~US$140 in 2016) with a marketing campaign to match. It was quickly undercut by DX9 who went from announcement to release of its Mightron in one month at a price of 500+ yuan. MT went all out to market its Despotron, and it seemingly worked, until a screenshot of MP-36 showed up. It was like a nuclear blast in the fandom. MT was forced to reduce its price to 700+ yuan, but it was too late. MT had lost its last shot in regaining its glory days. In hindsight, it was obvious why DX9 rushed out its Mightron at a low price -- it was not due to MakeToys as it so proudly thought. MT then changed direction and started a new CD line. The first two were slight tweaks to official designs to save design cost, but they suffered from production and material flaws. It tried to play its 'Japanese' origin again, but fans found embarrassing linguistic mistakes and called its bluff. Today, MT even has to resort to crowdfunding for a Meteor repaint. How the mighty has fallen. [end] This covers about 70% of the second video. There are several parts I don't know how to translate accurately and hence skipped. The speech is very well done. (The script must have taken some time to prepare.)
  11. Speaking of MakeToys, I found this Chinese reviewer talking about the history of MakeToys: 【变百科】人靠衣装马靠鞍, 史上最会包装的第三方 (The 3P with the best marketing) 【变百科】卸下伪装狰狞的嘴脸, 第三方巨星陨落之路 (The fall of a 3P mega-star) From Dec 2018. The rise and fall of MakeToys According to him, MT's first misstep was Utopia (2014). After that, nothing seemed to go right for MT. tl;dr Don't expect MT to bounce back any time soon.
  12. XTB is able to get an ultra-accurate front of the cab because that is its sole purpose. It hangs off the back in bot mode. I would be more forgiving if it isn't so big. This is quite a common theme for XTB and their big backpacks. Their upcoming Springer looks like he is carrying a backpack too -- but then it could be inherent in this design. I got the three MakeToys figures I wanted over the years (Meteor, Downbeat, Visualizers). I may have desired a few more, but I find their products priced too high. I feel the same way with MMC. FansToys is expensive, but you feel it's worth it.
  13. DX9 has the worst luck when it comes to their big releases. It looks like none have made it to USA yet, including the US retailers? Is it that it shipped at a bad time (first week of December) or it was flagged for inspection?
  14. I think there is no need to go so far back, just the DVD will do. 2016 Bluray: current state of the art, with some sharpening in out-of-focus parts. 2012 Bluray: remastered with little or no grain. (Did I remember correctly?) 2007 HD remastered DVD: progressive, but very grainy. (The grain can be removed easily.) It has a warm color, IIRC. There is an unrestored non-anamorphic version on Disc 2. You might prefer that for old school look. 1999 Perfect Ed DVD: window-boxed and interlaced. It looks nice if properly deinterlaced. This is old-school enough, IMO.
  15. And that's the issue with most 3P Transformers reviewers: very few can get or afford the full range of figures. Some reviewers are fun to watch, but they put out reviews (that I'm interested in) so infrequently. Vangelus definitely falls into that category. optibotimus took a lot of flack for asking people to donate to him in Oct 2015, but he could just be ahead of the curve. His video: I just checked his channel and he still seems to be going strong. OTOH, there are now more Chinese reviewers -- uploaded to YouTube from other sites. Sign of the times, I guess.
  16. VCD is super low-res. 352x240. You can find torrents of the blu-ray rip easily.
  17. It is amazing, but because the two modes are so different, my primitive mind doesn't register it as a Transformer. I think for Transformer to be look like it transforms, the bot should show some parts from the alt mode.
  18. For digital stuff, only if they re-render and not merely upscale. That might be enough for me to double-dip some Pixar movies. For older stuff, even for Studio Ghibli movies and DYRL, I think 1080p is enough. But then I don't have a 65" TV.
  19. The current blu-ray is already blurry. Is there any point going 4K for anime?
  20. A look at the cost. DX9 cheap: $70 x4 + $130 (Capone) = $410 (Assuming the last two bots are discounted to $70, which may not happen.) DX9 normal: $100 x4 + $160 = $560 FansToys: $105 x3 + $180 x2 = $675 XTB: $40 + $60 + $70 + $70 + $130 + trailer = $370 + trailer If the trailer costs $100, then XTB will cost $470 in total. Not the $300ish some are expecting on outset.
  21. By Titan class, do you mean 18" or 24"? 18" is no-brainer for me, but I even have to think at 24". I'm not ruling FT-40 out now, but 40+" is really no joke. If I could spare money/room for just one such Behemoth class (we need a new name!), It won't be Fortress Maximus. Probably Metroplex, in city mode 99% of the time.
  22. This is Takara's current design. We can see it in MP-44 and Unicron as well.
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