Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Headmaster Head: Lione comparison with knockoff Lione

And i recently managed to get my hands on the headmaster heads….
Afterwhich, i went to get myself a knockoff Lione…reason being i want to see for myself the differences between the KO and the real deal.
and here are the comparison pictures…
Original is the top piece…the view from the right shows not much of a difference…frightening similarities...

From this side, the KO piece showed through the inferior pins...

Front view does not show any significant differences...

Nor does the headmaster face view…but fortunately there are no takara stamping on the KO...

Head mode views are similar...

Closeup of the headmaster face…here you can see the original on the left has a Takara 87 stamping right below the chin whereas the KO does not…solely based on this, one can differentiate.

Some other differences, the KO has an additional flash point whereas the original does not.

I don't really know how many versions of KO are there, so i can't confirm if all the KO does not come with the takara stamping. but if some of them do, then it would be very difficult to tell them apart. Unlike other bigger sized KOs, these headmasters heads have very little differences, even the details, lines, edges are terrifying similar. Just by looking at a KO piece, it is very very difficult to tell.
My suggestion for all those who intend to get these headmasters heads is to get them from a reliable source, try not to get them loose (not foolproof as the KO can be put into a box as decoy) and do a lot of homework before getting them especially off ebay.

My experience, didn't do enough homework and was too lazy to check when getting a set of Vintage Insecticons…a couple of weeks later, after i have the time, i took out the toys and realized that the bubbles were all KO and the toys after checking…seemed KO too…fortunately the seller refunded me after i went through all the evidence with him…it's good luck on my part but i learnt a lesson as well..

Monday, July 14, 2014

C-303 Junior Headmaster Minerva/Minelba

My great collector friend has done it again! This time helping me with completing my Junior Headmasters, acquiring the uber-rare C-303 Minerva.
Though a bit of yellowing, this one is unused almost complete paperworks, just missing the bio card.

unused. a beauty.

Artwork as per all G1 artwork is immaculate...

the small artwork at the bottom left, at the back of the box.

Pictured here with the Gutto Kuru Minelba.

Why has Minelba suddenly become so rare and with a rocketing price?
i have really no idea. perhaps its difficult to find one which is bone white, complete paperworks. But isn't this the same with any other Vintage Japanese transformer toy?
Minelba has indirectly affect the stock price of her Hasbro cousin, Nightbeat. Everything directly and indirectly related to Minelba has increased gradually.


the Gutto Kuru Minelba is not a bad figure…anime accurate and has 3 faces to inter-change.

Robot face a the back of the headmaster.

Alternate mode.

Minelba Headmaster.

This is one of the pieces which i really covert.
Seen a really yellowed piece in Japan several years ago at a crazy price…and i have not even asked about the completeness and paperworks.
It is very very difficult to find one at this condition, at this price and 99% paperworks.
I must again, thank my pal for this and really really appreciate it… *fist bump*

Holy Grails part-achieved….

Finally achieved some of my holy grails in TF collecting…my good friend came over with some of the goodies seen over here…some were acquired over the last couple of weeks…but i must say i'm very happy to be able to get the elusive Minerva….
List of items:
1. Loose and complete Scorponok
2. Super minty Battle Gaia and Guard City Complete with full paperworks.
3. Japanese headmasters (5 pcs, missing Shuffler) Anybody has Shuffler and want to sell it off?
4. Junior Headmasters Minerva
5. Insecticons Shrapnel, Kickback and Bombshell
6. Astrotrain
7. Transformers Junior Chromedome and Rodimus
8. First Takara issue G1 Sunstorm
9. E-hobby G1 Orion Pax
10. iGear Raptor Squadron Star Burst (Not Starscream)
11. 49 Gutto Kuru Figure Collection Minelba
12. G1 Megatron

Will elaborate more on these later…first some picture teasers...

iGear Con Air Raptor Squadron IG-C01 Star Burst (Not Starscream)

Can't miss this out. the moment i realized that this is being sold individually, i grabbed it. All along i had the impression that this was sold in a set along with Not Thundercracker and Not Skywarp.

First feel with the toy is quite good. Very sturdy and tight. No loose joints. Plastic quality is good as well. The instructions for transformation, generally is same with all other 3rd party products…not very clear…
The transformation and the bot in my view is average or below par. Though the bot feels okay holding it and as mentioned earlier, the plastic is not bad…but the null-rays (shoulder cannons) are somewhat too low, making then bot look strange with a pair of cannons hanging somewhere on the bicep.
The wings have to be removed during transformation and installed back into pegs after transformation is done. something like the G1 toy.
In bot mode, the wings and shoulders can never be in parallel, meaning that if the shoulders are straight facing, the wings have to be tilted backwards…if the wings is straight, the shoulders have to be tilted forward…not very well thought of, shoulders and wings blocking each other.
Fists are not articulated…they are like the current line of Deluxe toys with fixed hands to hold only specific weapons.

Here's the box art...

on the side..

Back of the box.

For some reason, i was given 2 sets of paperworks….probably mis-packed.

First look at the jet mode.

Second layer of plastic tray holds the base, null-rays, missiles and an alternate head with a cunning face.

Under belly of the plane mode.

Bot mode...

The fierce looking starscream...

The back view...

Null-rays are fixed onto the biceps…it seems that the null rays are too low…they do not stretch out the shoulders which will represent G1 better.

 A"Heel" is there to achieve better stability while standing.

Comparion with Masterpiece Starscream MP-11…abit shorter…but way less awesome.

To put on display its an ok piece but playability not quite there…if Masterpiece Starscream MP-03 can be improved to MP-11 with several improvements made…i believe the 3rd party Starscream could have been done better…iGear should have put in more effort for the transformation...