29 April 2012

Each Sold Separately?

About a week ago, I got an email from a reader who wanted to share with me his shopping for toy experiences which totally put him off. Below was his sharing to me in an email.


I would like share my experience I had while shopping for Lego sets for my child. We went to this particular outlet at Novena area and my child was attracted by their display in its shop front's showcase. They have some rare Lego set but I have noticed much of it has handwritten notes pasted on them.

In closer examination, those notes spelled out what was in the box and what was taken out of the box too. They actually tampered with the set by removing some figures and sell it at the other section as loose for a certain amount of price. Make sense as that earned them much more.

I was so closed to get a set for my kid but I stopped because the set was not complete and if I should get the complete set, I have to pay more to get those loose pieces to form a set.

As I peered into their display case to look at the figurines, there those loose figures were selling at different pricing. On top of that display was another handwritten sign informing the shoppers not to ask the sales staff to take out the figurines from the display counter unless they are certain of purchasing the item of interest.

First, they messed with the Lego sets and second, their audacity in telling customers not to bother the sales staff unless you are very sure of buying is an affront to my rights as a consumer to examine my purchase before I part with my money. They certainly not going to get my money even if they have what I wanted "separately".

I hope you can share my experience through your blog. As a consumer, we should have the enjoyment of browsing and looking at the wares within reasonable means. Most importantly, we should have the guarantee that what we purchased have had not been tampered with.


I can fully understand this reader point of view as a seller, they have the right to determine their pricing and the terms they want to sell it but for the customer, the service attitude in communication said more about the product they are selling and not to mention share their dissatisfaction. It is a open economy end of the day. 

If a seller attitude already chase away normal consumers, how much more will it to the collectors who know what they want, the value of the products and where to sources it?

It sound so much like the following:

Really do you actually have to ask why?

28 April 2012

Transformers Prime Ratchet Review

Ratchet, one of the Autobots medical officer and in both Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime, the character and temperament have been consistent. Always serious, Always grumpy. 

It took me sometime to get hold of this Transformers Prime Ratchet as he is pretty hot when he first release and patience pay off for this instant and I still got him for 15% off retail!!

Before I open the toy, I noticed there was a stats data on Ratchet and I wonder what is the use of this information? It is not like knowing this status can change the course of the game. Although I couldn't see the usefulness of it.

Out of the box, the Ambulance form of Ratchet look good as the shape and the color stand out. Nice and clean.

I love the clear blue window screen but I notice something is missing.

I look from the front to the back and the top but I notice there is no Autobot sign at all! Maybe that should be visible in robot mode as it make sense as the logo will giveaway much of the information if it is found on the vehicle mode.

The only weapon or accessories were two short blade which look more like a dagger.

The official recommendation propose to insert both weapons in the front bumper.

I tried it on and find it look interesting no doubt...

However I noticed there are two more such holes on top of the vehicle and it seems the right size for the weapon to be inserted as well.

And behold, this is the none official way of another used of the weapons. Act like an antenna if you asked me.

Before I transformed it to Robot mode, I want to touch on the scale which kinda bother me. Compare to Tranformers Animated Ratchet, the Transformers prime version look a bit smaller. That can be overlook as they are not from the same series.

Tranformers Animate Ratchet made a good point. Where your logo Ratchet?

But when comparing with Tranformers Prime Acree who bike form should felt intimidate with Ratchet but it was the other way around. Acree bike is bigger than Ratchet!

The show must go on...time to transform it to Robot mode

So here it is, Ratchet and he look much like the series.

He do look as stout as he is in Transformers Prime. After the transformation, I looked for the Autobot logo and true enough even in Robot mode there is no Autobots logo!

Instead I found this item code printed in red at one part of his leg...

If they can print this numbers, why can't they print a red color Autobot logo Hasbro?!

The face of Ratchet do like the animation.

As for the 2 blade weapons, it can be inserted onto his arms or the knee which is suppose to be the Ambulance front bumper.

I don't remember seeing much Ratchet uses these two blades in the show but these blade do look like a surgical knifes and some instant as cutlery. LOL

Can you smell what Ratchet is cooking? LOL

Overall this could be a better Ratchet by making it bigger and putting the Autobot logo on him like all Transformers toys should be.

Updates: Ratchet in Transformers Prime do have a Autobots logo on his left chest.

So that should be included in the toy. So far only TakaraTomy version comes with the sticker for that and not Hasbro.

27 April 2012

Man in Black 3 Jakks Pacific Figures

Man in Black aka MIB movie has been out for quite a number of years and there have not been much toys on it until now.

In line with the third movie release, Jakks Pacific design and produced the new MIB 3 figures in 4 inches scale.

In one of the series the figure comes with large accessories which are some of the iconic gadget from MIB. For Agent J (Will smith), a Neuralyzer (since MIB 1)  that turned into a transport. For Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) the Noisy Cricket and another new character which is the Alien Orb. 

If you are a MIB fan, this toy would be one for your collect.

26 April 2012

Hottoys Captain America in Novemeber

News of the next release of the Avenger from Hot toys was out last week and it is none other than Captain America.

When I saw the figure preview I was really impressed as it capture the likeness of Captain America in the movie. It is something refreshing since for years Hot toys kept releasing Ironman in various suit. Now come one an Avenger who only wear a costume and fight head on with his shield. Respect!

The masked Capetian America look amazing.

You don't have to ask if this figure comes with the Mask off because it look more awesome without the mask.

With the action pose, Captain America look alive!

The figure comes with 2 head (mask on and off), 2 shields (one new and another weathered), a Alien weapon and 3 pairs of hands.

This Hot toys MMS174 The Avengers: Captain America Limited edition collectible figurine is marked around SGD$270.00 releasing in November 2012.

Personally I find this is one of the best looking Avenger so far. What do you think?

24 April 2012

Playmobil Ballerina F?gures Series 2

I don't really get Female Playmobil but there are some in this series I wanted to get. Just to name a few would be the Female Vampire and Lara croft. I just try my luck and roll the dice to see what I will get.

IT was not my day as I got myself the Ballerina.Since she is a Ballerina, let's call her Angelina. :)

I am sure some girls would love it but for me, she is just too simple and lack of accessories. However she do have big brown eyes with thick eye lashes and a red cheek.

What mark a Ballerina?

First, her ballerina shoes. Normally it is white or silky pink.

Then it would be the Ballerina skirt that goes well when she dance especially spinning around.

Since she has long hair, she is required to tie her hair up with a ribbon.

For Playmobil deisgn, there are limited pose to pose the Ballerina and this is the best I can do for dancing.

My Ballerina is ready to dance and take the stage. I cannot imagine Playmobil made a male version of a ballerina to match her.

If you are into Ballet, this would be a good figure to collect and girls would not mind to get her as she is sweet.

23 April 2012

Macross: Do you remember Why?

I will share something today instead of review for the love of Macross...so to say...

Since my childhood days, Macross was one of the rare Japanese anime that screen on local television channel and I had followed the whole series after school daily. As the animation was a hit so were the toys. Toys ranges from original to bootleg, it was quite easy for much kids to get such toys. For kids, it really didn't matter it was original or bootleg.

I still remember original was heavy as the parts were diecast while the bootleg were much smaller in size that was made of plastic. However both bootleg and original can transform in all 3 modes.

After the original first generation series, I didn't follow up as first the local channel no longer aired the Chinese dubbed show and I do not have much access to rent VHS on the new series.

When I become a working adult, I decided to look for the good old generation VF-1J or VF-1S toys. By then, it is no longer diecast but it has moved to plastic produced by Bandai and Yamato. As I enter late, some of the new release cost closed to $100 and recently the prices went higher and higher till today around SGD $170 a piece.

Macross has moved from a mass toy to collectors market. Although they can earn a lot more from collectors market, the lifespan will be short. Can you imagine the generation which was the loyal fan is getting older and how many of them are falling out of this series for toy collecting?

I don't really blame them for making such decision to target the older fans who are financially sound but remember in  the series of Macross, the only hot selling mecha is the first generation only. As the newer generation, it is pale in comparison in term of the Mecha. Thanks to the cosplayers scene, the female characters such as Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee created a brand for themselves and gave more exposure to the series which still the Mecha does not pick up.

In a few years time, the collectors will be getting old and how many more years do you think collectors will get your toys especially they were kept re-releasing and re-issued? If the generation one is the only selling product and they do not capture the newer generation of fans, it is certain that they will disappear from the market in time to come and even the older collector products will dropped in it value without the younger generation loving the series. Some of the hardcore Macross collectors I know is also cutting down in collecting due to the pricing.

I can do without a Macross in my collection although I still have a certain love for it. Maybe one fine day, I will get one myself when the price is right but till then, my money will be spend on something else which is more affordable and getting something more out of it.

End of the day, everyone has a budget.

21 April 2012

Trafalgar-Law's Submarine Model Kit

The second Grandship from Bandai model kit is Trafalgar-law's submarine. Many would expect it to be Go Merry but that come after this model kit release in the Grand Ship series.

I felt Bandai made this Submarine instead of another ship is a good move as Submarine is rare in most model kit! Like the previous Thousand Sunny, this model kit need not apply any paint but just apply the stickers is decent in presentation already.

The model was well design and easy to assemble. They purposely design it to have 2 separate parts to simulate the submarine submerge into the water.You can joined them together when you want to display that as a ship instead.

The funny design was this submarine comes with a sail and it is not just any sail but a black sail. Deadly.

The main black sail has the lego of Trafalgar-Law. DEATH.

It fly it's own pirate flag.

Another odd thing was the second sail was white instead of black. I wonder why?

The DEATH logo were printed on both side of the submarine ship.

The deck looked wooden with neat circles windows and doors.

Since it is a submarine, it need a bright light in the front to light the way. For that, it is at the belly of the submarine.

Now it is time to place it together with Thousand Sunny for comparison.

Oh no! Thousand Sunny is getting near! What will Trafalgar do?

Well if you can't out run them, you can become a submarine and go under water which a ship cannot.

To be honest, I love the submarine mode with the water effect.

Once it go under water, no ship can match it or detect it.

I really have fun putting this model kit together as it doesn't need any painting as the stickers are good enough for me. Fixing these model kit kinda remind me of those olden days where some skillful craft man putting a model ship in the bottle.

Now don't asked me why I have such feeling but somehow it just come to me. :)

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