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Journal Archives from September 2007
Captain Power Figure week prep

This week which is about to descend upon us will bring with it another excellent theme week here at the Preserve. Inspired by the Captain Power 20th Anniversary site, I have finally started to get more of the Captain Power collection posted to that wing of the site. The theme this week will be carded figures from this great series, and while the Preserve collection is not (gasp!) complete we'll put forth a good showing.

Today's eBay Watch is a great Michael Gross autograph, as we may know best around here as Burt Gummer! This makes me even more excited to some day catch him at a horror convention, and to wear my Burt Gummer outfit for a really great picture.

A parting shot for today, is that I was actually successful in retrieving the Harlem Globetrotters pinball machine for my 30th birthday:

Restoration has begun, however slowly, and progress will be chronicled here at the Preserve.
Posted by charlie on September 30th 2007
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Dino Riders auction

A series that the Preserve will need to, eventually, investigate is Dino-Riders, which The Chase had an excellent entry about some weeks ago. Today's eBay Watch is an excellent, piecewise collection of these figures, which while pricy and missing the boxes, provides at least a great checklist of this line.
Posted by charlie on September 29th 2007
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Dino riders

Illustrating yesterday's excellent Target haul is the following:

There's a bit of a cheat in the picture, as all of the 3" Titanium Movie figures are pictured, as I was in the midst of confirming that I in fact had managed to get the entire set, while only four of them were purchased in the proper haul. Of note, as a followup to yesterday's Target Watch - when I stopped by at 5:30pm after work, the remaining GI Joe 25th Anniversary figures were gone, along with all of the Deluxe Transformers figures. That is some rapid inventory turn-over, and confirms that 8:30am is the right time to see what's up.
Posted by charlie on September 28th 2007
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computer warriors - romm

Today we finish our short but important Computer Warriors week with the last of the four carded figures. The leader of the Computer Warriors, named Romm, closes out our four game series the way that only a dedicated take-charge commander can.

The best part of the bio written for this figure is the "renegade imagination" part. I'm trying to decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing, potentially opening him up to various corruption attacks had the series made it past the original pilot episode. The fan-fiction should abound!

Target Watch: Today proved to be the most exciting morning at Target in some number of weeks, reinforcing the manic drive to stop there constantly in the face of near constant disappointment. Today they had clearly stocked a single case of Transformers Deluxe Movie Toys, though only 7 figures were on the pegs, with the tell-tale absence of Bumblebee - I can at least hope that a wise stock-clerk snagged him instead of a picky local scalper. I mean - I was there last night around 6pm, and this morning at 8:30am...that doesn't leave a very big window, but those dealers can be crafty! As if that wasn't interesting enough (and allowed me to pick up a spare Arcee to open and photograph) my heart lept like gazelle to see down the isle that the GI Joe 25th Anniversary pegs looked like they were not barren and drafty for the first time in ages! I was astonished and delighted to find the following:
  • Lady Jaye
  • Buzzah'!
  • Serpentor
  • Cobra Trooper
  • Beachhead
  • Storm Shadow
  • Snake Eyes (white Timber)
  • Cobra Commander
That's right, the second wave of figures has hit the shelves! Well, more precisely, a single solitary case of eight has hit the shelves, and I left with five of them, leaving only the last three figures on that list which are repeats from the first wave (but interesting as far as case-assortment information goes).

But wait, we're not quite done yet. I realized that over by the Deluxe Transformers, the 3" titanium pegs were bursting at the seams, and that there was a new batch of the Movie Titaniums, most specifically one copy each (and only one!) of the newly released Ratchet and Brawl 3" figures. This banner day at Target really helped to progress the new collections, and reminded me why I put in the work, because the payoff of the hunt is always worth it.
Posted by charlie on September 27th 2007
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computer warriors - asynk

Today we have the second in command of the Evil Viruses, Asynk. An expert at Booby-trapping and looking quite mad, I seem to recall that his character was pretty unhinged in the epic 30 minute cartoon which accompanies these toys.

We have a nice eBay watch today of some more rock lords. This lot includes a boxed example of the Gobot Power Warrior Grungy, which was the power-suit gestalt that came out in the latter days of the Gobots line. You don't see these too often, and it's a good price so far.
Posted by charlie on September 26th 2007
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Computer Warriors - debugg

Next in line for Computer Warriors week is the figure Debugg. One of the good guys, he is a detective and apparently quite powerful, able to combat the strongest Virus, Asynk.

Recently ended on eBay, as it was a very short duration auction, is a nice example of Granny and the Gators. This is one of a very small number of hybrid pinball/arcade machines ever produced, one of the others by Baby Pac-Man which is in the Preserve arcade collection. The price for this machine was really tremendous, ringing in at $1,216.12 when all was said and done. Very rarely does an example of this machine come up at all, so it is interesting to see an example of the value that the market currently places on this interesting machine.
Posted by charlie on September 25th 2007
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Computer Warriors - Megahert

Welcome to carded Computer Warriors figures week at the Preserve! Today we feature the carded example of Megahert, direct to you from 1989 - as always, click the image for a detailed page.

Megahert is the leader of the Virus badguys, and does indeed appear to be a very grizzled and tough hombre. The presentation and design on this piece is a great example of why I like this series so much, and why it is a shame it had such a brief time on the shelves.
Posted by charlie on September 24th 2007
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computer warriors figure prep

The Computer Warriors collection is one of the favorite series here at the Preserve. In recent months we have seen the prices on the rise for all pieces from this set on eBay, and boxed examples are drawing quite a bit of interest. All of the examples in the Preserve were opened and enjoyed back in the day, but thanks to the wonders of late night shopping four carded figures have now been secured.

This coming week we will be featuring these four individual figures and ships from the Computer Warriors line!

To finish up the eBay watch from this week, that Rock Lord auction ended at only $91. That seems almost to be a fair price for the amount of items offered, though far below the $300 initial buy-it-now, which was fortunately as expected.
Posted by charlie on September 23rd 2007
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Tf Movie 2007 Bumblebee 08

A figure which is proving to be one of the most difficult to obtain, and which also has the highest eBay scalper price (these two are related, but which came first one wonders...) is the '08 Concept Camaro Bumblebee.

I have only seen this figure once on my local shelves, and was fortunate enough to snag it that day. As with other figures in the series, this character has the same tech stats as his other version, but Hasbro has put together a different 'bio' entry to keep things interesting.

An interesting eBay Watch for today is a Bandai version of the Power On Energizer from the Captain Power line of toys. Harkening from the correct year of 1987, this is an item I've never seen before, and while expensive, we all know that the Preserve is mighty tempted to dip into those waters.
Posted by charlie on September 22nd 2007
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Jazz G1 Exclusive

Target continues the release of its G1 repaints with a re-coloration of the movie Jazz figure, which improves this figure 100 fold immediately.

Like their repaint of Starscream, this figure includes a newly written backstory which would even seem to indicate that Jazz gets rebuilt after his apparent 'death' in the movie. Go figure.

An update to the eBay watch of several days ago shows that the Rock Lord auction, which isn't quite as complete as it would like to be, is up in the neighborhood of $71. Still has over a day to run, but I am thinking at this point that the $300 buy-it-now would have been a money loosing proposition for a buyer.
Posted by charlie on September 21st 2007
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Heaven and Hell

While I try to make it a policy not to carry on about the personal machinations of daily existence, it is, as Venkman put it, more of a guideline than a rule. Last night Gozer and I had the opportunity to attend the Heaven and Hell tour, which is Ronnie James Dio and his crew from the 'Dio years' of Black Sabbath. What made this particular stop on their tour even more absurd was that they were joined by not only Queensryche but Alice Cooper as well.

That was an astonishing bang for the $20 lawn seat buck, and reinforced my certainty that music has done nothing but decrease in awesomeness over the years.
Posted by charlie on September 20th 2007
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thundercracker tf2007

On the heels of Brawl, we now have a page up for Thundercracker, the Voyager Starscream repaint from the Transformers movie 2007 line.

I really like the color job on this figure, and I am sure that the customizer community has already bought a spare to turn into Skywarp - almost makes me want to try out that part of the hobby to have a perfect set of the three seekers. Or, more likely, two nice looking ones and one that looks like it fell in a vat of chunky latex paint.
Posted by charlie on September 19th 2007
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the green pickle

At long last, the third and currently final leader class figure from the new Transfomers 2007 movie toy line has been posted. Brawl remains hard to find, like everything else from this series, at least in my town, though I hear he's becoming more widespread. He really is a good looking figure, and the display window works great to show off the design.

While doing a google image search for 'Spiderman pinball' in order to determine the likelihood that a garage sale ad is in fact referring to a $100 home model rather than the awesome old Spidey pin, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon today's Internet Aneurysm.
Posted by charlie on September 18th 2007
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dr who church

One of the many themes around the Preserve is Dr. Who, a long running BBC sci-fi show that I have to imagine most people are familiar with by now. Well in the past few years the series was revived from a moderately long silence, and with the revival comes new fans and new aspects to enjoy.

One such fan is a priest in Cardiff, whose church was used in one of the 9th doctor episodes. He is currently putting together a Dr. Who themed evening, where he will preach through the tenants of the Doctor, apparently discussing "Jesus as a Lord of Time". That was just too much to not mention.
Posted by charlie on September 17th 2007
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Rock Lords full set auction

An interesting eBay watch for today, as well as some nice pictures of a series, is what claims to be a near full set of Rock Lords. The dude had an initial buy-it-now of $300, and I suspect when all is said and done that will have been a better deal - *however* I get the distinct impression that there is a little misrepresentation going on here.

Just as an example, he claims that the full set of Narlies is included, but the Snarlie-Narlie is clearly missing, and from an eBay watch several weeks ago you may remember that said Snarlie drove that price up to $355! I haven't looked carefully, but I suspect that he doesn't have as many of the Jewel Lords as he claims either. It will be interesting to see how the market treats this auction.
Posted by charlie on September 16th 2007
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Tf dvd 20th

The festivities having completed, I feel that this image really sums up the spirit and the execution of the event
I noticed something about the 20th Anniversary Transformers DVD that came out earlier this year - not only does there appear to be a real red-shift problem (ie. there is an overabundance of pink, Hot Rod should *not* be pink) but there is also very inconsistent audio. One of the attendees to the event had actually not seen the film before, so I was very excited to show it to him for the first time, and of course for him to catch all the awesome quotes. It really drove home my suspicions when I found that some of Megatron's best lines in the end of the Autobot City battle almost appeared to be turned down! I have the previous Rhino DVD release, and will watch that tonight to see if I'm just imaging things, or if someone really screwed up the new dvd!
Posted by charlie on September 15th 2007
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30th birthday

Today's post is delayed due to your humble narrator bring in the process of turning 30. Fortunately all pretence of actually growing up is entirely shelved, thanks to a Transformers themed party, and at this very moment a viewing of the classic film. Tomorrow will bring more Preserve excitement!
Posted by charlie on September 14th 2007
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Transformers 2007 movie group pic

The Uncle has been asking to see a picture from the recent Preserve archives, in particular what it would look like to put together all of the Transformers 2007 movie line pieces into one giant overwhelming pile. Well, not ever wishing to disappoint, gaze upon the tower:
Sadly it was difficult to imagine how to arrange them so as to actually clearly be able to see every figure, so it serves mostly as an indication of scale, or enormity. It also served as a reminder of how many of the wave 2 figures have not yet been entered in detail! I am astonished that the figure draught continues - WalMart had four Ultimate Bumblebees today, but that was it save for the few standard shelf-warming pieces. My new friend who stocks the toy section in the evenings showed that a new case of GI Joe Adventure Team figures had come in, and were nearly all sold again, but that there remains no shelf space for any official GI Joe merchandise, either Sigma 6 or 25th Anniversary. I think a call to WalMart Corporate is in order - this would be an interesting thing to learn about in detail.
Posted by charlie on September 13th 2007
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vectrex auction

The Vectrex is one of the many proud consoles here at the Preserve, and has a distinct place in history due to it's 'vector' graphics and built in monitor and controller rig. The fact that it also had a light pen, and a 3D goggle unit back in the day is even more amazing! A great auction has ended already on eBay, having not reached the reserve, and when I saw the insanely awesome items that it contained...all in box...I think that a higher reserve is indeed well justified.
Posted by charlie on September 12th 2007
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Phantom Striker

For anyone who may have not noticed it in the ol' sidebar, a page with many photos of the Phantom Striker from the Captain Power line is now available. This year marks the 20th anniversary of this fantastic franchise, and it will be celebrated by a great 20th anniversary site being put together by some long standing fans of the series. I'll be sure to link to that site once it is available.

In target watch news - it seems that everyone in my small town has sated their needs for a Target Exclusive G1 repaint Starscream, as one lonely example remains on the shelves. This morning, however, it was interesting that four G1 Repaint Jazz figures appeared from the ether - the stopwatch starts now, I bet they're gone in a day. Everything else remains barren, and rumors of Hasbro's restocking flood remain but fond dreams in some parts of the country.
Posted by charlie on September 11th 2007
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dandD pic

While not knowing the people involved perhaps removes a little bit of the awesomeness of the picture, it is nevertheless the case that the new picture, custom made as both a header, and thousand word tale to accompany the song Dungeons & Dave may, I believe, be enjoyed by everyone. Three guesses as to who 'Dave' is in that picture, and the first two don't count.
Posted by charlie on September 10th 2007
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GI Joe 25th Cobra set

We have reached the end of GI Joe 25th Anniversary week at the Preserve, and finish with the Cobra 5-pack. Another great set of figures is contained in this set - even though we have a few duplicates, the Cobra Commander in this set has the solid faceplate rather than the cloth look, and at least Storm Shadow is posed as a total badass.
This set really delivers the goods with both Destro, and of course another fan favorite the Baroness. Wave 2 should be breathing down our necks already, so enjoy the wave 1 euphoria while it lasts.

In movie notes, any night that involves Predator (with Mike Nelson's Rifftrax!), Fright Night, The 'Burbs and Red Dawn has to rank up there as one of the greatest impromptu movies nights ever.
Posted by charlie on September 9th 2007
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Gi Joe 25th Joe set 1

In our procession through the first wave of the GI Joe 25th Anniversary collection, we have finished the carded figures and now get to check out the fantastic 5-pack sets. Today we feature the Joe set:
In this set we have a duplicate of Snake Eyes, but also four excellent new figures lifted directly from the pages of toy history. Also included in the set is, as seen in the picture, a large plastic GI Joe logo, which plays the theme music when the star-button is pressed! I have heard a rumor that the wave 2 Cobra pack will include a giant plastic Cobra logo - let's all hope that it plays the Cobra theme from the movie!
Posted by charlie on September 8th 2007
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Gi Joe 25th Cobra Commander

Friday brings with it the end of the single carded figures in wave one of the GI Joe 25th Anniversary line. Saving the best for last, at least by the standards of many fans around the world, today we feature Cobra Commander:
It is such a delight to see ol' Chris Latta back on the shelves, and it's good that he was front and center in wave 1. According to the internets, it seems that not only wave 2, but yes wave 3 are quickly approaching so we might need another GI Joe week shortly!

In what is becoming a regular feature of 'my local Target watch' I found several interesting things today: They had restocked (meaning 1 extra Joe and 2 extra Cobra) the 5-pack sets for the 25th anniversary, but sadly no additional figures - I'm still looking for that black-Timber Snake Eyes afterall! Also it appeared that they had received yet another single 3-case of Transformers 6" Titanium figures, with Scourge, Optimal Optimus and Megatron on the shelf. I finally decided to pick up Optimal, and Megatron was a no-brainer having not seen it around anyplace before. Still no signs of other Transformers restocks, but I feel it is now impending. Keep watching the shelves!
Posted by charlie on September 7th 2007
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Gi Joe 25th Flint

We are drawing near to the end of the first wave of carded figures in the Gi Joe 25th Anniversary set. Flint is really a great example of why to leave these figures on the card: the art on this card is just amazing, and the File Card is such 'wholesome Americana' that it has to be read to be believed. The figure, after all that awesomeness, looks like it might actually be the weak link, so why seperate a perfect package? I present to you the Flint figure:
As quickly as the first glimmers of Transformers 2007 figures restock appeared on the shelves in town, they are already all but sold out. For some reason, 4 G1 Starscream repaints are still hanging out at Target, but that's down from at least 20, and I expect those to be gone in two more days. The Jazz repaints all vanished within a day, interestingly - the lower price point probably helped. Then they'll be right back to the bare shelves, really amazing!
Posted by charlie on September 6th 2007
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Gi Joe 25th Cobra Officer

Today in GI Joe 25th Anniversary news we feature the Cobra Officer figure. This will no doubt be a difficult item to find on the shelves, as the troop builder collectors will certainly be snapping up more than one of these, and in spite of my near daily visits to our (admittedly mediocre) toy isles in this town, I've only seen a single such figure to date, which I fortunately purchased.

Also of note, friend of the Preserve Cole pointed out that head sculpt for the Target Exclusive G1 repaint of Starscream is in fact different than the movie colored version. While it's not exactly like the G1 head, I like to believe that it's a lot closer than the movie version, and is another amazing change that Hasbro put in place on the 'repaint', making it much more impressive than a simple recolor.

Update: check out the lyrics and chords, and listen to Dungeons & Dave all over again!
Posted by charlie on September 5th 2007
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GI Joe 25th Storm Shadow

Update: The latest UncleCast is posted - enjoy! Show notes to follow.

Next in line for GI Joe 25th Anniversary week is Storm Shadow. Having a troubled past since the '80s, it's great to see him as well as Snake Eyes as part of the first wave of figures, and that they are still considered some of the most popular figures in the series.
Also, not to confuse things, but I do have to direct folks to the Target Exclusive G1 repaint of Starscream, which has just been posted. The colors are so pleasing, and I found it to be fascinating that they added a new bio for the figure which seems to even follow up on the stinger to the movie.
Posted by charlie on September 4th 2007
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Gi Joe 25th Snake Eyes

First out of the gate for the GI Joe 25th Anniversary week long celebration at the Preserve is Snake Eyes, complete with Timber figure.

This figure is interesting as it is the only one from the first wave of 5 figures in this series which features a chase variant, namely a darker color Timber in a very few of the figure packages. I haven't been fortunate enough to stumble upon this figure yet but with wave 2 on the horizon it's likely that the varient will be an eternal quest.
Posted by charlie on September 3rd 2007
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Gi Joe 25th pre

Welcome to another theme week here at the Preserve! This week we will be featuring the new GI Joe 25th Anniversary line that Hasbro has seen fit to grace us with. Starting a few months ago, there have been only 5 carded figures, and two 5-figure box sets released.

The packaging, the great art, the file card info, the silhouettes on the cardback hinting at upcoming figures in the series - it's another great job by Hasbro. I do actually hate the trap that I'm well into now about not opening figures, but honestly I think that is justified with these - they look so perfect carded, and the word on the street is that the figures, while highly articulated, very detailed, and sporting a raft of accessories, just feel somewhat lacking and are slightly larger than the 1980s counterparts, causing them not to be usable in most of the vintage vehicles. I think this is a series which, for better or worse, is best enjoyed under glass.
Posted by charlie on September 2nd 2007
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Transformers Movie 2007 Main Line Complete

It was with astonishment that I sprinted into a Big KMart and adjacent WalMart a few scant towns away while en route to a distant appointment, and saw on the shelves an abundance of Thundercracker Voyager figures, and one lone Brawl Leader class! With delight, tinged by the slightest hint of sadness at my epic hunt having come to a sudden conclusion what with the great success of recent days, I swept up the two figures and continued on my way.

Now what remains are three more Target Exclusive Scouts, and the four latest Real Gear figures. Those are ancillary figures to be sure, so as of now the main line is complete. The choice now, going forward will be the purchase or avoidance of the Prime and Brawl Leader repaints that are to be released sometime this fall. By that time, I'm sure that the sting of the tremendous cost of this full series will have subsided, and the fever for more of these surprisingly decent Transformers figures will be rekindled. In the mean time, I hold out hope that the rumors of WalMart beginning to sell the Masterpiece Starscream figures will not prove to be vicious lies, and the hunt for those may begin now in earnest!
Posted by charlie on September 1st 2007
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