Collection Spotlight by Sir AurosLet me start by explaining something about my collection. When I was a child in the ďrightĒ demographic for Transformers toys, I had three Generation 1 figures. I wanted an Optimus Prime forever and that was the first figure I received. It was a Powermaster Optimus Prime (the very one pictured) and I got him for Christmas. Over later Christmases, I received a Pretender Grimlock and then a Countdown and those figures comprised the entirety of my original G1 collection for many, many years. The reasons I didnít have many Transformers, despite being wild about the show and the precious few episodes we had on tape, were mainly because my parents had invested an awful lot in He-Man figures for my brother and myself, leaving not a lot in our Christmas and birthday budgets for Transformers. I was content with the few I had and wore all of them out until G2 came along.
Generation 2 thrilled me because I was old enough to have some money and to be allowed to spend some of it on myself. My parents had also started having me pick out the bulk of my holiday gifts while they were shopping, so that led to me getting a G2 Devastator and nearly all the G2 figures seen in my collection with the exception of G2 Megatron (I got that later on ebay).
There really wasnít a time difference between Generation 2ís last breath and the start of Beast Wars since G2 ended in 1995 (and I was still buying the odd G2 figure at closeout stores then) and the start of Beast Wars in 1996, but this was the beginning of the first significant gap in my Transformer-collecting. From the time I was finishing up 7th grade until my senior year in highschool, I think I only bought two Transformers - Beast Wars Optimus Prime and Megatron, in their original incarnations.
I have a few Beast Wars figures, but most of what I do have, I picked up when they were on clearance near the end of the line because while I loved the show, the toys felt like they werenít really Transformers since most of the beast modes were piss-poor disguises. Some of the Transmetal and Transmetal 2 stuff appeals though and Iím still on the lookout for a TM2 Megatron on the cheap. I donít think Iíve picked up a single Beast Wars figure on ebay or elsewhere online as of yet though. I was interested in Beast Machine Vehicons, but I didnít buy any of those until theyíd been repainted for later lines.
I bought as many Robots in Disguise figures as I could afford when it came out, but I still wish I had picked up the two-packs with the jets. I did buy a repainted Landfill as a Walmart exclusive and hope the bullet trains make a reappearance at some point, though at a more reasonable price this time. My interest in this line also waned fairly quickly due to the tie-in show that I thought was just another abysmal, Pokťmon-inspired anime cartoon.
Armada was a big letdown for me, but I bought some of the figures anyway, and there are more figures from Armada in my ďgoing on ebayĒ box than any other single line and that Overload will be sitting in that box as soon as I can be bothered to take it off the shelf. It was at this time that I started having enough money to begin collecting in earnest and I hit ebay hard.
Purchasing on ebay (and getting some Toys R Us reissues), Iíve been able to pretty much complete my G1 want-list. The only mold I donít have that I would like is Hound, and heís currently being reissued by Takara. I say mold because there are precious few figures that I actually own an original G1 edition of, and most of them are actually knockoffs. The only gestalt I own a ďlegitimateĒ version of is the RiD Ruination figure. Grimlock is a G2 figure, Megatronís a really cheap Argentinian knockoff, and Jazz and Prowl are reissues. Iíve never really been concerned with getting anything thatís original as same as I can get the same mold and it looks decent. I do have a few knockoffs that arenít on display because theyíre so hideous though and even had one that literally crumbled when I tried transforming it.
Iíve been pleased by most of my Energon and Universe purchases, but finding new figures is becoming very difficult, and of course the Alternators line is just perfect, and also as hard to find. My Energon Decepticons seem to outnumber my Autobots because I really havenít been interested in most of the Autobots other than the Basic size of figures.
My philosophy on collecting figures really depends on the line. For the G1/G2 (and possibly BW later on) figures, my goal was to collect the figures I had really wanted as a kid but never received. With everything else, Iíve pretty much just bought something as itís come out based on whether or not I thought it looked good. Iím not sure if Iíll reach a point where Iíll really want to ditch large chunks of my collection, but I have already decided to start parting with figures I just donít like that much. The things Iím not too likely to get rid of are the figures I wanted when I was a kid, the figures I got when I was a kid, and any figure Iíve received as a gift at any point. Stuff thatís just badass like RiD Scourge Iíll also definitely have to keep till I die. Hell, I may have that one buried with me.
Except for one box with figures I hate so much that Iím selling them on ebay and another that houses some broken figures and tons of accessories, all of my Transformers are displayed on these shelves along with my He-Man and Lord of the Rings figures. The shelves are these neat plastic utility shelves that connect together to form much wider shelves and Iím quite pleased with them. I had previously housed my collection first on one ugly, metal utility shelf and then two (that didnít even match), and finally settled on this visually-pleasing (in my opinion) solution. The shelves go up very, very quickly and look quite nice connected together, but the only downside is the rather pricey pricetag. Each unit costs $20, but I think itís worth it and as you can see, the shelves are so tall that I took what were supposed to be the top shelves for each and used them as a two-tiered shelf connected to the other two.
What are the highpoints of my collection? The pinnacle of my collection is undoubtedly a European version of Overlord, in pretty good condition and only missing one of his godmasters. How much did I pay for him you may ask? ďI mailed a G1 Bombshell, average condition, with box, and a RiD Scouge MISB to Germany,Ē would be my reply. Another favorite is RiD Scourge, though I seem to have lost his sword and Iím not displaying his trailer due to it being mostly useless size unless in base mode. I also have the US version of 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime displayed with my Alternators and near the one Japanese figure in my collection. I purchased God Ginrai on clearance from HobbylinkJapan for a mere $50 after shipping. Itís currently in the box, but Iíve taken it out before and I think itís a highlight because I was able to have a mint condition, better version of one of my favorite childhood toys.
As for how I have my collection arranged, well, thereís a bit of rhyme and reason, but thereís also a fair amount of randomness involved due to the eclectic nature of my collection. I had to put my He-Man figures on the top shelf for Castle Greyskull, and then I put a mix of my more favored Transformers on the shelves second from the top. On the left, I have G1, G2, and reissued Autobots as well as figures from the Alternators line. On the right, I did the same for the Decepticons, though they included more multigenerational favorites. So that whole shelf has this odd conflict between original-styled figures and figures I happen to really like. Unfortunately, with my inability to not buy every new Alternator that comes out, I will probably have to do some rearranging with this shelf to accommodate that line.
The next shelf down on the left has a mix of my gestalts and knockoff figures (including most of the gestalts) as well as the odd minicon or other figure. The middle shelf on this tier has my Armada and Energon figures arranged with the Decepticons and Autobots more or less facing each other.
The bottom shelf has my Robots in Disguise figures on the left and Beast Wars and Universe figures on the right with Countdownís base thrown in beside the villains from The Lord of the Rings. The Robots in Disguise shelf is probably among the better-organized in my collection and most of the others are probably due for rearranging in the future, especially as I add more Alternators and Energon figures.
Well, I hope I havenít bored you too much and maybe even given you some ideas for displaying your own collections or some insight into my own collection habits or something that made reading this worthwhile to you. Or maybe you didnít even read my write-up and just looked at the pictures. You jerk.