Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Successful Dinosaur Hunt!

1st stop HKIA
As said a few months ago, I was travelling to Singapore & Hong Kong in mid August. One of the objectives was hunting for some collectible Transformers. The then (there is actual news as of September '13) very hard to find Masterpieces were among them. De citytrip started with a four-days stop in Lion City Singapore.

Botanical Gradens
My brother hasn't been in Singapore yet. Since the city has much in common with it's rival city Hong Kong, it was both a new and familiar experience for him. Aside from the usual sightseeings, we were also hunting for TF collectibles.
Our first attempt was at the Funan Digital Life Mall. Although it is a mall for electronics, there are some good shops to get some TF's. My brother got his superbargain: Encore 05 Ratchet for SG$ 25,00 (about US$ 19,00).
I also got my Encore 18 Skids.
1st batch
The next day we got our first Hasbro Masterpiece, Thundercracker at the Toys 'R Us in Harbour Front - Vivio City. We were planning to get this one in HK, but the price was also lower than expected, so we picked up this one here. On the third day we went to the famous China Square Central. This mall has a somewhat steryle impression. We got there actually too early. Like in HK, the shops aren't open untill noon. But we had to go in for some cover as it was raining outside. We decided to come back later that day/evening.
Guess what......I found my piece of gold MISB at the shop: Ace Ventura (2nd floor).
Gundam docks at Hong Kong
The same day my brother found his MISB MP-08 Grimlock at the MRT location of Simply Toys! We were both very happy to get these MP's since they are hard to find in MISB for half the price on ebay! After these acquisitions, our city-trip was a success already and there was much more to come.
Barely surviving the shipment per AIR!
The total amount of collectibles is quite a long list. I'll put it on the bottom of this blog. In Dragon City Hong Kong we bumped on the Gundam statue at Times Square (Causeway bay). The project Gundam docking at HK was running from July 26th till the 1st of September. We got a lot of TF's and Gunpla hobby stuff at Mongkok area (Hobbybase at Sino Centre) and at In's Point (Yau Ma Tei). Our main targets are Masterpieces (from MP-08 on till current issues. The pre-MP-08 issues are in my opinion not worth collecting, since I want them all in de same scale), TF Encore G1, Generations/United, Henkei and Classics. I also picked up a few MP's I already owned, but this was just for my webshop Morgenroete Inc. to resale.
Totalled box of MP-12, shame on you HK Post!
The MP-09 Hotrod/Rodimus Convoy was also a bargain in a set of 2 consisting MP-09 & MP-10. The most valuable items were carried in my suitcase, but a large batch had to be shipped per Airpost by HK Post. They have dissapointed me. The M4 package arrived in terrible condition and the box was nearly totalled although the box was very strong by itself. Luckily, my brother advised me to let the items in their respective plastic bags!!! So the damage was reduced to some Encore boxes (Devastator) and 1 MP-12 Lambor. This was a bummer, because it was an item to sell. I had to reduce my asking price since the item wasn't MISB anymore. The outerbox was damaged, but luckily the item itself was in perfect condition. 

Aside from the TF huntings, I got some other stuff like MGS - Legacy Collection for PS3, Some Gunpla, an extra battery for the DSLR and a 1:43 scale model car of the Super GT - Xanavi Nismo Z.

So the conclusion for the hunt this summer is a successful one. Especially my hunt for the Dinobot Grimlock MP-08! It was truely a good Dino-hunting!

Below are some impressions and items acquired.
You can click on the images to enlarge.Sorry for the last picture which is somewhat blurry.

HK skyline seen from ICC (Kowloon West)

CBD Singapore
Comfortable flights

Encore & Giant Type-61!
Dutch glory Doutzen Kroes!


Size difference G1 & Giant-Type 61!
Generations VC + DC & G1

2nd batch!
Whole bunch (both)



TF Masterpiece
- MP-08 Grimlock
- MP-09 Hot Rod/ Rodimus Convoy
- MP-10 Convoy (for sale)
- MP-12 Lambor (for sale)
- MP-12T Tigertracks
- MP-14 Red Alert
- Hasbro MP - Thundercracker

Encore/G1/Classics/Universe/Commemorative series
- Devastator (Encore 20)
- Skids (Encore 18)
- Hoist (Encore 14)
- Insecticons (all 3 - Universe G1)
- Astrotrain (Commemorative)
- Wincharger (G1 loose)

- Tracks (United)
- Warpath (United)
- Springer (voyager class)
- Sandstorm (voyager class)
- Jazz (Deluxe class)

3rd party & misc.
- TFC - Uranos : Blackbird + Phantom ray
- TF Autobot bag

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Golden Security

G1 / Encore
In a few weeks I'll travel to Singapore & Hong Kong for a vacation and pay a visit to our grandparents (HK) with my brother. Of course the vacation isn't complete without a good hunting for Transformers G1/Encore and especially Masterpieces. Lately I've been scouring around on the internet and was wondering how our heritage from the Golden Age of the 90's would perform on such platforms as e-bay or our own Dutch

Well......after doing some searches the results were incredible. The G1 was performing outstanding. For instance, my G1 Dinobot Slag's condition is Mint In Box (No insert card although), but the asking price is about up to US$ 140,00 sometimes. My grandmother bought it for me way back in 1989 for HK$ 139,00 which is in nowadays currency US$ 18,00.
G1 Ratchet about the same story, it was a birthday present from my father in 1987 when I turned 10. It costs in those days HFl 45,00 (Dutch Guilders) - US$ 29,00. That was typically for an medium Autobot Vehicle. The modern reincarnations known as Masterpieces are even more jawbreaking. MP-10 Convoy is already up to € 250,00 to € 300,00 and still rising. The only one which is being out of this world is  MP-08 Grimlock, the current bids are topping on more than a Grand.....

Zelda - A link to the past MIB
So....the coming weeks I should probably hunt for  dinosaurs.......perhaps MP-08 might be as even extinct as it''s real counterpart....I'll let you know if my hunt is succesful.

There is also another from the 80's & 90's. As some followers may know that we played a lot of games in the 90's and went hunting RPG's around the end of the SNES' lifespan.
Somehow I never managed to get the 2 classic Super NES systempushers 'Super Mario Kart' and 'Zelda - A link to the past'. Why I didn't? Don't ask....I don't know myself either......on the Dutch site Marktplaats (Marketplace literally) I found a US version of Zelda - A link to the past in very mint condition. The only thing missing was the map. But hey....e-bay has everything!! It cost me a few bucks, but the result is that I've composed a MIB Zelda for SNES!!!! 
More Gold!!!
I prefered the US version over the PAL version, since the US card runs 15% faster than it's European counterpart. (60 Hz vs 50 Hz). During those days NTSC - PAL regionlock was still an issue.

I did the same way for Super Mario Kart. I purchased it at a retailer which is also selling 2nd hand and retrogames. The condition was very good, so I am very happy with both new acquisitions! I know it's a shame to get these game only in 2013, 21 and 22 years after their respective initial releases. But hey...better late than never.

Running another e-bay test and research resulted that most of these precious 'gold' is skyrocketing nowadays. You should try a few of the games shown on the 4th picture and don't forget to support your jaw to prevent it from dropping on the ground......Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy III are sometimes going all out for a mindblowing US$ 800,-!

Protection for SNES games
To protect these golden pieces I purchased some neat stuff at retro-retailer named The RetroGameFreak. Got some dustcovers for the US cards, some paper inlays to refurbish my old game-packs and....25 (together with my brother) so called Snug-fit box protectors. These transparant protectors are made from Polyethylene which has the size of a SNES game pack. This prevents the paperbox from scratches, dust, bumping and crashes.

Most of the games are covering a story. When and why I purchased it. How come that it is invaluable to me.
Nearly every game-pack has a story. So it's not the economical worth that I cherish, but it is - like many - the emotional worth of an item. How much the price is rising, these games and TF's will never leave the establishment where I also live..... 

As a result all of the precious gold from the Golden Era of the 90's is secured now........A Golden Security! 

Hereafter some pics.

Do you have similar items you cherish that much?
US cards now with dust covers

Chrono Trigger 1995 - MI(S)B with snug-fit protector.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SD Sword Impulse Gundam

Sword Impulse with Force Impulse at the background
After quite a long hiatus, I finished a project that should have been a short project between the larger projects like MG's. Since the building frequency has been lowering significantly, it took a long time to get this one ready. I started the SD Sword Impulse way back in 2011. the meantime we have a new Head of State in The Netherlands......

Sword Silhouette
The modification wasn't that difficult. As base there was the original SD Force Impulse Gundam. But since there wasn't any additional Silhouette-pack, I was forced to use another pack. For the Sword Silhouette pack I used the No Grade 1/144 Sword impulse Gundam. The only difficulty was that the 1/144 pack wasn't wide enough the get directly attached to the SD. So I cut off the the part that should attach to the Impulse from original SD Force pack and forged it together with the Sword Silhouette and that problem was solved. The Anti-Ship swords could been shortened
easily by cutting the middle part out. Tamiya Super Glue did the rest of the work.
The color scheme was no problem. The only thing that matters was that the original blue color had to be whitened before painting it red to prevent the red becoming too dark.

All images are taken with Nikon D600 (24-85 mm)

Do you like to modificate SD kits?

SD Impulse - Sword Color Scheme

SD Sword Impulse fully equiped

SD Sword & Force Impulse