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Journal Archives from October 2007
 
Happy Halloween 2007

Happy Halloween!



From all of us here at the Preserve, have a terrifying night!
Posted by charlie on October 31st 2007
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Gi Joe 25th Cobra Legions

Today we have a Target Watch which is, somewhat uselessly, several days old but none the less fantastic! Dedication always pays off eventually, and I have been able to chase down one of the bright silver Cobra Legions 5-figure packs!


I've also, in the past few days, run across the 'variants' of the first two 5-packs but have made the difficult decision to leave them on the shelves. The variation is simply a re-arrangement of the figures in the packaging, without any actual difference in the figure themselves! Oh well, as The Uncle tries to remind me, you can't have everything!

Still the wave three figures remain highly elusive, but I have a feeling they'll turn up soon. I keep missing them by a day here and there - it really is amazing that Hasbro continues their practice of under-production that we saw with the Transformers movie toys. As I learned from my father, this has been their technique since at least the mid eighties, so I suspect we should all be used to it by now!
Posted by charlie on October 30th 2007
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Best Buy Tf2007 Movie toys

I had very nearly forgotten that Best Buy was throwing their hat somewhat into the ring of Transformers Movie 2007 toys this fall, releasing 'metallic repaints' of Ratchet and Megatron Voyager figures, as well as a DVD release that featured two exclusive Robot Heroes. Well, I happened to be in Best Buy the just the other day, and managed to snag the very last of their toys, as well as one of the few remaining dvd sets:


So if I understand their product distribution correctly, that should bring complete their releases in the collection. I still haven't compared their DVD pack-in Robot Heroes to the other 'standard' ones, because at least in the store, at point of purchase and with no basis for comparison, they certainly looked larger than the normal versions. I also have to give some designer plenty of credit, because the two Voyager Class repackages are very very nice - I think the entire line could have done with being sold in that way, but at least someone got to try it out on this much more limited exclusive run.
Posted by charlie on October 29th 2007
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Toy Haul

The exciting premise of a B-Movie festival inspired me to drift farther from the ol' Homestead than I am sometimes encouraged to do, and as such I had the good (or bad, depending on perspective!) fortune of going to several stores which are in larger areas and therefore receive greater considerations from their shipping and restocking department. In particular, I have now managed to mostly fill in my Toys R Us Exclusive figures to the 2007 Transformers Movie assortment:


Also included in that picture are the fruits of a stop at a fantastic used book store, which also has many *many* periodical back issues, as well as a sealed 'Star Trek' Microvision cart...well, they don't have that any longer, the Preserve does. Also awesome in that set of is a 5-volume box set of original Conan novels by Robert E. Howard. When I saw the box around the five books there was no stopping what can't be stopped.
Posted by charlie on October 28th 2007
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Transformers 2007 - Payload

Today we continue our bid to get the summer collection of Transformers movie toys updated properly. When there's more coming in the door than you can get posted to the site, then you know there's a lot of good product being released. Yet another Decepticon, Payload, is the deluxe figure of the day.


This figure has surprisingly awesome stats, and has been been given an unusually high courage rating for a Decepticon of 9/10. The Automorph Attack Claw that extends from his midsection appears to be an interesting and unique feature, which is always nice to see.

A fun eBay watch for today is for a nice Double Dragon II machine, still going for an almost reasonable price. This would go nicely with the Double Dragon I machine which is in the Preserve archives, but space is, as always, at a premium.
Posted by charlie on October 27th 2007
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Transformers 2007 - Final Battle Jazz

I used to have a moral objection to repaints, and would generally avoid them. It is therefore a testament to the power of the Pandora's Purchase that not only do I now fully embrace repaints (in both the Transformers line, as well as GI Joe) but that I purchased Final Battle Jazz, which isn't even repainted!


Granted they gave him a missile firing 'Crescent Cannon' this time around, and packaged him in robot form to try to make things seem different, but yeah, it's the same figure. Well, as we all know he gets made into two pieces during the CGI headache which is the final battle of the movie, so it seemed like this figure was also an important 'memorial' to that, or something. Either way, it was particularly necessary in this case because the full set of figures couldn't be left incomplete due to this one...and that thinking is the heart of the inductive proof which is the Pandora's Purchase!
Posted by charlie on October 26th 2007
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V Mini Series

Through a Captain Power friend I was recently reminded of the 1980s Sci-Fi series V. For one reason or another I had never yet gotten around to catching up with this series but the magic of Netflix has hooked me up with the original 1983 4 hour mini series.

Along with clearly being a great influence to various shows and movies that were to follow in the 80s and 90s, as well as a well done allegory to the horrors of World War II, it features three Preserve worthy cast mentions.

Marc Singer, of Beastmaster fame, plays the cagy suspicious news reporter hero...well, there are many heroes but he's the alpha male one.

Leonardo Cimino plays a wise holocaust survivor, and the grandfather of a family who is one of our windows into the chaos of the film. He is super awesome, and you may also recognize him as the Scary German Guy from The Monster Squad and as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen's Doctor in Dune!

While nearly all of the characters in the show were very well played, the other Preserve worthy note is, fantastically, good ol' Robert Englund! He plays 'Willie', one of the 'Visitors', and you should also know him from his other most famous role as Freddy Krueger! Having not reviewed the cast list before I began watching, it was such a delight to see him show up!

As you would imagine, I give this miniseries very high marks, and it is worthy of the praise which fans who have been lucky enough to see it lavish upon it.
Posted by charlie on October 25th 2007
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ebay feedback

Recently I received the following as feedback from an ebay transaction:

Buyer paid promptly and seemed excited about the item.


I think that is such a perfect and telling comment. I suspect that the seller figured he was just posting some crap that wasn't all that interesting, and as usual I made it clear that it was fantastic and just what I was looking for. I will never be displeased with my ability to find awesomeness in the mundane!

Also, as you've probably seen reported just about everywhere, Nintendo has announced that it is officially ending support for the NES at the end of October 2007. Yes, that's not long from now. Definitely a bummer, so I'd advise stocking up on replacement pin connectors while you can. I suspect, though, that those are made by a third party anyway - so this is more of a moral defeat than anything...still sad news, and I needed to be sure we all marked its passing.
Posted by charlie on October 24th 2007
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Captain Power - Hawk

Following the plan that was developed during the recent Captain Power carded figure theme week, we have been filling in the unacceptable spots in the figure collection, so as to be able to provide a complete and fully documented set for you, the reader!


And my favorite news headline in many weeks has got to be "Kid Rock arrested after Waffle House brawl".
Posted by charlie on October 23rd 2007
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Pat Hand Pinball success!

As promised, so delivered, witness the 1975 glory that is Pat Hand:



Friend of the Preserve, Royal, informs those of us with less of a tremendous store of arcane gentleman's knowledge that a "Pat Hand" is a hand in poker with which, if held, you are likely to win. Awesome!

As is generally the case with these machines, it has a few 'problems' that need fixing. As is *not* generally the case with my collection, I'm actually working hard on fixing them! Aside from a start-up problem in which the score motor runs constantly, trying to reset the bonus counter, the relay bank, and load the ball into the shooter lane, it seems that the machine is just about good to go. Well, a full playfield cleaning and polishing is needed, but that's relaxing compared to working in the tangled guts of the beast. In time that will be less stressful as well, but while learning there is always a certain amount of anxiety.
Posted by charlie on October 22nd 2007
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Burt Gummer Glasses

My long standing fascination - some might even say fixation - with the Tremors films, and in particular Burt Gummer, found great outlet in a recent eBay auction which has sadly elapsed. It was a 'live auction' which are always sort of mysterious and shady, and it was for a screen-worn pair of Burt Gummer Ray-Ban sunglasses from Tremor's 3. I at least made an effort towards this sale, but was rudely trumped by apparently the only other bidder! Looks like they missed their estimate of "$100-$25,000" by $30...oops.

Just as well I suppose, as it was pretty suspicious as to the authenticity of any of the props that seller offered, validated mainly by the volume of supposed authentic memorabilia up for auction at once. At least now it's possible to just save the picture from the listing, and make sure to track down that exact pair, further lending movie-correctness to my most favorite of costumes.

In "things I certainly didn't need to buy" news, the pinball mission was successful this early morning, and pictures will be forthcoming.
Posted by charlie on October 21st 2007
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Transformers Movie 2007 - Dreadwing

Today we finish up with our impromptu mini theme of Transformers Movie Deluxe toys with Dreadwing:


While at first I felt that they had sort of phoned in these giant-lens head sculpts, I admit that they have grown on me a little. Perhaps it's because the other head sculpts in the line are absurd and 'detailed' or perhaps it's because the lenses call up fond thoughts of big-robot series of the past, but I've reached the sort of comfortable place with them that we all should find with things some day.

In other news, this time Pinball related, with any luck I will be springing back to full functionality in 4 hours and driving some many miles while it is still dark in the AM of Saturday, perhaps while you are reading these very words, in order to be the early bird what gets this worm. In particular, a 1975 Williams Pat Hand 4-player electromechanical pinball machine, to add to the much beloved and ever growing collection, here on the Preserve! Never fear, work continues on the Harlem Globetrotters, and with the addition of a new bridge rectifier, a molex repair kit and several solenoid driver board resisters, I should be whistling their theme song soon!
Posted by charlie on October 20th 2007
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Transformers Movie 2007 Deluxe - Recon Barricade

Today we continue our impromptu Transformers Deluxe marathon with Recon Barricade, from the second wave of Deluxe figures:


Initially as hard to find as all of the second wave figures, thanks to Hasbro finally sorting out whatever issues were plaguing them in September, you can now find this figure on the shelves of many stores, though still seemingly in shorter supply than some of the apparent 'common' figures.

In further interesting Transformers news - as most folks probably have been forced to hear by now, the movie from this summer has recently been released on DVD. My jury was still out on this particular item, since while I like the toys a great deal, I wasn't totally pleased with the film - but I am delighted that it did so well, thereby guaranteeing at least another 10 years of a strong franchise! While doing the WalMart sweep today, I couldn't help but notice that they were offering a two-pack, featuring the movie, as well as a 19 minute prequel, which is basically the 4-issue comic prequel, but animated. Thanks to the benevolence of Gozer, I left with this set and watched the works tonight. I was *so pleased* to find that none other than Mr. Frank Welker, the original voice of Megatron, provided the voice for his animated version! I was devastated when I learned he had not been cast for the movie, and this was at least some small compensation, and certainly made the WalMart two-pack *more* than worth while.
Posted by charlie on October 19th 2007
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Tranformers Movie 2007 - Arcee

Today we feature what I believe to be the most important of the Deluxe figures, and one could go so far as to say the most important figure in the series, Arcee:


Of course girl Transformers are extraordinarily rare, and official figures of Arcee have only shown up in recent years - now suddenly she is finding release in several different sizes, colors and forms. What makes it particularly poignant in this case, though, is the huge controversy surrounding her inclusion, or lack there of, in the 2007 movie. Rumors run in every direction, but what the actual writers claimed at Botcon was that there seemed to be a fan *backlash* to the initial draft having her in the movie, so they wrote her out. Seems surprising and unlikely, but that's the word from the top. Whatever the truth, we can hope that with the huge success of the movie, and the near certainty of at least 2 more sequels, Arcee will get some screen time eventually.

In terms of the actual figure, you just have to love the '80s hair style that the head sculpt is sporting, or at least which is boldly visible in the box art - nice work again Hasbro!
Posted by charlie on October 18th 2007
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Transformers movie 2007 deluxe - Longarm

It has become far past the time to play a little catch-up with the Transformers 2007 Movie figures, in as much as there is a complete set of the toys here at the Preserve, but very far from a complete set of them have been posted in detail. It is a big problem when trying to reference one of the figures, only to find that I hadn't gotten around to posting it yet! Well, today we start to make our inroads, and feature the Deluxe Class figure of Longarm:


This is really a good looking figure - solid construction and good bold colors, and a really cool looking robot mode as well. Since I'm retaining some sort of aversion or fear of opening items from this set, I might pick up a spare and get some close up pics of the different modes of this figure, to either confirm or debunk my theories.
Posted by charlie on October 17th 2007
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Dr Who Trenton

Since these items are rather rare and expensive, and since they came about before I was properly old enough to know about video games back in the day, I do not possess a Vectrex 3D imager, though have certainly posted about it many times before. By way of a couple of fantastic images of this epic piece of hardware, please see today's eBay Watch where one is indeed up for sale. It will, of course, be informative to see where it ends, as interest is already proving to be characteristically high.

"Oh no no they're all the rage in Trenton, New Jeresy" - Doctor Who (Tom Baker, The Stones of Blood, 1978) casually explaining his mechanical dog K-9. I find the off-hand reference to that tri-state-area city to be unexpected and awesome.
Posted by charlie on October 16th 2007
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Narlie cardeds

By the time you read this, today's eBay Watch will probably have come to an end, but there were two nice sets of carded Narlies (no, not the much adored Snarlie Narlie...) and one of the sets did much better than the other...at least as of the time of this writing! While a very detailed view into this Rock Lord sub-class, it does provide a nice snapshot of current market demand within the Narlie universe!
Posted by charlie on October 15th 2007
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Evolution of a Hero set

This weekend Target is running a 'special' on their Transformers figures and accessories. You will notice the quotes in that first sentence, which are to indicate that a good number of the figures, for instance the Deluxe class, are not on any sort of sale at all, but there certainly is a big red tag that says $9.99! which, upon lifting the tag, proves to be exactly what they were selling for while not on special. Oh well - at least you can save a little on the Scout Class figures, which have actually been restocked with Arcee and Elita-One, as well as the Voyager Class (if they had any) and I think the Leaders were a little off.

Sadly there was no sign of the GI Joe 25th Anniversary Wave 3 set, though given previous experience that will take precise timing to score, and is likely to never be seen again in my town! What was there today, however was the 'Evolution of a Hero' target exclusive Transformers pack featuring both the classic and '08 concept Camaro Bumblebees. Yes, those are already in the collection, and yes, I got sucked in by a repackage, but at least the '08 has 'battle damage' so, well, that's something I guess!
Posted by charlie on October 14th 2007
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Air Raiders Complete Auction

Some number of months ago, The Uncle created the idea of the Pandora's Purchase - namely that someone with a collecting mentality can sometimes make a single purchase, which throws wide the floodgates and unleashes an unstoppable drive to complete that collection. This image helps to further illustrate the point.

In other toy ruminations: I've got to learn more about Air Raiders, and the specific figures and generals which lend great value to the line. I have nearly all of the vehicles and playsets, though they could bear some greater care, organization and certainly display on the Preserve as very few are yet posted.

Sometimes, though, I see things like this eBay Watch and I am just puzzled at the great price it commands. I believe that some of the 'leader' figures are considered super rare - especially a few mail-ins that were available, but this definitely appears to be a series which benefits greatly from the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.
Posted by charlie on October 13th 2007
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Gi Joe 25th - Serpentor

Wanting to finish the 2nd wave of GI Joe 25th Anniversary carded figures with a flourish, we complete the week with Serpentor, the biggest badass of them all


While the figure may look a little non-threatening, do not be fooled! This is one of the most powerful and sinister men to ever walk the Earth, being that he is an amalgam of the most vicious and notorious of historical figures! It's like Bill and Ted decided to make a superhuman tyrant dude, but they left out the key component of allowing him to rock a killer guitar solo. GI Joe have their hands full with Serpentor, and hopefully wave 3 sees some much needed reinforcements!
Posted by charlie on October 12th 2007
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GI Joe 25th - Beachhead

Today Beachhead steps forward from the rank and file to combat the evil Cobra - Troopers, Officers, Commanders and all!


We get yet another awesome Bio card for Beachhead, learning that he likes 10 mile runs before breakfast, and waiting silently for the enemy in the woods for days on end, just in case they happen to come by! We're drawing near to the end of wave 2, so it's about time for my Target to discover a single case shipment of the wave 3 figures. I need to read up on the insider info a little more, as I hope that this line continues beyond the planned 3rd wave, but we shall see.

In vintage news, a container full of Panosh Place Voltron items, Go-Bots cardbacks, and other various awesomeness has been rescued from the depths of improper storage, and a yeoman's effort has been made to remove sadly overdue batteries and clean residue where possible. These items now wait patiently in the wings, along with Season 3 of M.A.S.K, the boxed Godaikin, the RCA Studio II and so very many awesome things, which one day we will learn about together.
Posted by charlie on October 11th 2007
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Gi Joe 25th - cobra trooper

A figure that you are sure to see very few of on the shelves, even if the distribution systems were working properly, is the Cobra Trooper:


Always super popular with the army builder collectors, it just won't do to have only one of these in a proper display collection. I mean, while it's convenient for a good-guy plot device, they certainly should have more than one Trooper guarding the base!

Today's Target Watch finds that there are several of the Leader Class Brawl figures, as well as a Leader Class Megatron, which are surprisingly warming the shelves. Also a selection of the 3" Movie Titanium figures are to be had, while the 6" figures have been put on clearance (though only one remained at the time - Scourge - who is now long gone). A few mysterious Movie Robot Heroes showed up as well, though not the wave 2 figures that will, I am sure, prove to be elusive. Rounding out the shelves are a couple of Deluxe Class Dreadwing figures, and then the usual dusty Fast Action Battlers and TECH toys, along with that insane 'laptop' that they made for some reason. With luck, there will be a few things left when Target drops the prices, and I might be able to snag a second Brawl to open and check out.
Posted by charlie on October 10th 2007
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GI Joe 25th - Lady Jaye

Next in our lineup, we need a Joe to balance out the evil of Cobra, and wouldn't you know it but here comes Lady Jaye.


I am constantly amused that while her Primary Military Specialty is 'Intelligence', her Secondary Military Specialty is 'Personnel clerk'. That may be more awesome than it sounds when you know more about the military, but from the outside it seems sort of like giving the female character in the boy action figure line the job of HR Director. Not too glamorous!

In other exciting news, the M.U.S.C.L.E. collection of Preserve friend, Steen, has been incorporated into the archives. Pooled with the recently-unearthed original collection, it is now a pile of pink creatures that makes the organization-weary eyes cross all together! You try lining up 232 un-numbered figures in their proper places on a poster, and you'll see what I mean. There will be more on this new development in the coming days, but it is always a cause for celebration when the Preserve gets to add a new topic for display and Preservation!



Posted by charlie on October 9th 2007
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GI Joe 25th Wave 2 - Buzzer

Several weeks ago, avid readers of the Preserve may remember that we were able to secure a set of the beautiful Wave 2 GI Joe 25th Anniversary carded figures from an early morning visit to Target. As is typical of this geographic area, that is the last we've seen of those figures, but the set is here and ready to be displayed! In an effort to provide up-to-date coverage on some of the series we discuss, I wanted to waste no further time in launching into yet another theme week!

Today we begin the GI Joe 25th Anniversary Wave 2 of carded figures with Buzzer!


I am often happy to admit my failings or oversights in life, and this case is no exception. Having not been a careful student of bio cards for any series until recently, I was so delighted to familiarize myself with the bio for Buzzer! Turns out he was an 'extreme left-wing Cambridge sociology don' who basically snapped and now enjoys destroying the trappings of technological society with his diamond-toothed chainsaw...awesome!
Posted by charlie on October 8th 2007
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Bin Find - MUSCLE and Rock Lords

Having completed our Captain Power week, to great fanfare and delight, it was time to delve again into the Preserve back storage for inspiration and guidance as to what is to come next. This trip was as productive as many have been in the past, yielding another amazing crop of things thought lost and forgotten to the ages:


GoBots, Rock Lords, Transformers Pretenders and original 1984 card backs and instructions, Sky Commanders, Voltron, an Atari 2600 box, Battle Beast weapons, and a forgotten line called 'Reactors' - literally an astonishing cross-section of every one of the favorite series here at the Preserve. In particular, of great excitement and revelation was the re-discovery of a large number of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures - 5 of the 28-packs as well as the boxes for the Belt and the Wrestling Ring! Inspired by this discovery, I wasted little time seizing hold of what felt like a fortuitous omen of a co-worker unloading his large original M.U.S.C.L.E. collection as well, so now that wing of the Preserve will begin development shortly!
Posted by charlie on October 7th 2007
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Captain Power - Lord Dread

Finishing our theme week of Captain Power carded figures, comes the man-machine himself, Lord Dread:


A classic story of a decent man gone wrong, Dread was a great villain and provided unrelenting torment to Captain Power and his crew. This is not, in fact, the complete carded figure line, which we have discovered is incomplete in the Preserve! As the rest of the figures are filled in, they will be added to the Captain Power group page, and we'll be sure to keep you posted!

Completing our eBay Watch of the recent Snarlie Narlie we see that he finished with bids totaling only $99! That's quite a discount over the last sale, so either people missed this one or we're seeing a more reasonable price for this item. Since I'm fairly certain that this is not part of the archives currently, a boxed example is something to keep an eye out for, unexpectedly, some day in the future.
Posted by charlie on October 6th 2007
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Captain Power - Pilot

Today it is time for fan favorite, Corporal Jennifer "Pilot" Chase as played by Jessica Steen in the show:


The tension between her and the Captain, and the romance that was tragically cut short in the season one cliffhanger is still discussed to this day. She was a great part of the show, and also a refreshing element in a male-dominated world of 1980s programming.

Today we have an eBay Watch of our old friend, the Snarlie Narlie! Since the working image has been added to that listing, the price has just about crested three-figures. I admit that if it ends below $250 I'll be a little disappointed, but not nearly so much as the guy who shelled out over $300 for one a few weeks back - though in fairness that lot came with some other figures from the series, and they are getting harder and harder to come by.

Update: Interestingly enough - the current high bidder in the Snarlie auction is the same person who shelled out $355 for the previous Snarlie!
Posted by charlie on October 5th 2007
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Captain Power - Soaron

Another of Lord Dread's evil henchmen who provided many an excellent target during the show was Soaron, Sky Sentry:


The animation techniques used to create the effect of Soaron swooping in to attack Captain Power were pretty awesome for the day, and the grating metallic sound effect used whenever he was on screen gave an immediate sensory cue that bad news was coming, and to get your ship ready for some combat!

While watching my dvds of Voltron this evening, I decided to research the voice actress for Princess Allura, and came to learn very interesting things about B.J. Ward. She is responsible for an astonishingly awesome array of 1980s female character voices, including Scarlett from GI Joe, Velma Dinkley from Scooby-Doo, Smurfette from The Smurfs - and she is still working in 2007, both in cartoons and video games! In terms of more 'mature' pursuits, she has also sung on broadway, and has released several albums - and she was a Playboy Bunny! She is definitely added to the hopeful list of 'People who would be invited to the ParryGamePreserve-con' though she may be quite too famous!
Posted by charlie on October 4th 2007
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Captain Power - Blastarr

We continue the Captain Power carded figure week with Blastarr, another of Lord Dread's Warlords.


While most of the bad guy figures are some sort of 'Warlord' or another, it strikes me at this late hour that the GI Joe collector impulse to troop-build might still be pretty awesome in this line, driving one to assemble an army of Blastarrs or Tritors.

Today's Target Watch is a joyful occasion indeed, as it has amazingly turned up the final three Target Exclusive Scouts that had been missing from the nearly complete Transformers Movie 2007 line! Last night I was astonished to, at long last, round the corner into the compacted modern day toy isle, and see the long-empty Scout pegs bursting with Elita One, Armorhide and Air Raid figures! I was decent, and followed my long standing anti-scalper anti-dealer impulses and purchased only one of each figure (three of each were available, as was dictated by the single case I'm assuming they opened, along with three each of Arcee, Clocker and Skyblast). Upon further reflection, and looking at how great the Elita One figure looks, I think that the 8am Target Run may well involve a few additional purchases. Now all that is missing are the four not-yet-released Robot Heroes packs, and the three new Deluxe figures which have been announced. So - as well as can be, the current collection is complete!
Posted by charlie on October 3rd 2007
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Captain Power figure - cp himself

Getting the monkey off our back early on in the week, today we feature the actual Captain Power figure from the carded line.

Still impressive to this day, I believe, click the image above to read the Overmind Data File for the Captain.

In eBay Watch news, we have a set of several Saba Videoplay carts, which were the European Fairchild Channel F equivalent. I had assumed these would demand a good price as I don't see them that often, but the bids have yet to start. As always, we see that the lack of a box or other packaging makes for an astonishing difference in item value.
Posted by charlie on October 2nd 2007
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captain power - Tritor

Kicking off Captain Power carded figure week is Tritor, one of the later figures to come out in the set.


Update: I've fixed my lame typo and the image above will now correctly take you to the detail page!

Following up the recent success of the Target haul, comes a Real Gear score from WalMart, moving the Transformers 2007 Movie collection closer to completion. My contact phoned me up that a case of the latest Real Gear figures had arrived, and the last four figures, along with the Hasbro shipping case, have now joined the Preserve.
Posted by charlie on October 1st 2007
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